Drug information

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Brand Name:
Viread
Other Names:
TDF, tenofovir DF
Drug Class:
Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTIs)
Drug Image(s): (Click to enlarge)
What are the most important things to know about tenofovir disoproxil fumarate? What are the most important things to know about tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

What are the most important things to know about tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (tenofovir DF) can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis), liver problems, and new or worsening kidney problems, including kidney failure.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis:

  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Unusual muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath or fast breathing
  • Stomach pain with nausea or vomiting
  • Cold or blue hands or feet
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fast or abnormal heartbeat
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite for several days or longer
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area
  • Itching

If you have hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) and take tenofovir DF, your HBV infection may get much worse (flare up) if you stop taking tenofovir DF. Do not stop taking tenofovir DF without first talking to your health care provider.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of a worsening kidney problem (called Fanconi Syndrome), which may be related to tenofovir-containing drugs:

  • Bone pain that does not go away or gets worse
  • Pain in your arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Broken bones
  • Muscle pain or weakness

While taking tenofovir DF, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.

What is tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?What is tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

What is tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

Tenofovir DF (brand name: Viread) is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 2 years of age and older who weigh at least 22 lb (10 kg). Tenofovir DF is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.

For more information on the use of tenofovir DF in people with HIV, please refer to the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents Living with HIV and the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection.

HIV medicines can't cure HIV/AIDS, but taking HIV medicines every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you are taking HIV medicines, don't cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.

Tenofovir DF is also approved by FDA for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) in adults and children 2 years of age and older who weigh at least 22 lb (10 kg). For information on the use of tenofovir DF in people with HIV and HBV coinfection, please refer to the HBV section of the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the HBV section of the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Children.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?What should I tell my health care provider before taking tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

What should I tell my health care provider before taking tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

Before taking tenofovir DF, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to tenofovir DF or any other medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, including HBV.
  • If you have kidney problems or receive kidney dialysis treatment.
  • If you have bone problems.
  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of taking tenofovir DF during pregnancy. For more information on the use of tenofovir DF during pregnancy, please refer to the Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant Women with HIV Infection and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. For women with HIV in the United States, the Guideline does not recommend breastfeeding. Before your baby is born, or if you are already breastfeeding, talk to your health care provider to discuss alternative options for feeding your baby.
  • If you are using hormone-based birth control (such as pills, implants, or vaginal rings). For more information about using birth control and HIV medicines at the same time, view the HIVinfo HIV and Birth Control infographic.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Tenofovir DF may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how tenofovir DF works. Taking tenofovir DF together with certain medicines or products may cause serious side effects.
How should I take tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?How should I take tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

How should I take tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

Tenofovir DF comes in the following forms and strengths:

  • 150-mg, 200-mg, 250-mg, and 300-mg tablets
  • Oral powder (40 mg of tenofovir DF per 1 g of powder)

Take tenofovir DF according to your health care provider's instructions.

Tenofovir DF tablets should be swallowed whole and can be taken with or without food. People who are unable to swallow the tablets whole may take the oral powder. Use the provided dosing scoop to measure the oral powder. Mix the oral powder with soft foods that can be swallowed without chewing, such as applesauce, baby food, or yogurt. Do not mix the oral powder with liquid, as the powder may float to the top even after stirring. Take the dose of oral powder right after mixing it.

Always take tenofovir DF in combination with other HIV medicines.

If you have taken too much tenofovir DF, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on how to take tenofovir DF, see the FDA drug label.

What should I do if I forget a dose?What should I do if I forget a dose?

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of tenofovir DF, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can tenofovir disoproxil fumarate cause?What side effects can tenofovir disoproxil fumarate cause?

What side effects can tenofovir disoproxil fumarate cause?

Tenofovir DF may cause side effects. Some side effects of tenofovir DF can be serious as noted above. Many side effects from HIV medicines, such as nausea or occasional dizziness, are manageable. See the HIVinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects for more information.

Other possible side effects of tenofovir DF include:

  • Changes in your immune system (called immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome or IRIS). IRIS is a condition that sometimes occurs when the immune system begins to recover after treatment with an HIV medicine. As the immune system gets stronger, it may have an increased response to a previously hidden infection.
  • Bone problems, including bone pain, or softening or thinning of the bones (osteopenia), which may lead to fractures.

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of tenofovir DF. To learn more about possible side effects of tenofovir DF, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.

You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online.

How should tenofovir disoproxil fumarate be stored?How should tenofovir disoproxil fumarate be stored?

How should tenofovir disoproxil fumarate be stored?

  • Store tenofovir DF tablets and oral powder at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep tenofovir DF in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed.
  • Do not use tenofovir DF if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away tenofovir DF that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep tenofovir DF and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?Where can I find more information about tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

Where can I find more information about tenofovir disoproxil fumarate?

Manufacturer Information

Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Main number: 800-445-3235
Patient assistance: 800-226-2056

Last Reviewed: April 12, 2021