Descovy (TAF and EM) + Alcohol

There is no expected interference between alcohol and Descovy. This does not necessarily mean that there is no interaction whatsoever. Hence, it is advisable to inform your healthcare provider of all side effects and complications you may experience if you use both concomitantly.

What Is Descovy?

Descovy is a double-combo antiretroviral medication used in controlling the level of HIV in patients who weigh at least 35 kg when used alongside some other anti-HIV medicines and at least 25 kg when used with certain other drugs [1]. It contains two active ingredients (tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and emtricitabine) belonging to the class of nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors that help break off transcription by obstructing the HIV enzyme that actuates the replication process.

TAF is an improvement over older versions of tenofovir. Unlike the older versions, this antiretroviral agent has very minimal side effects which may affect the kidney or reduce bone density. This is to say that risks tied to the administration of this drug are far less compared to several other antiretroviral agents.

How Descovy Interacts with Alcohol

Alcohol is known to affect the mental state of an individual as well as interfere with normal body functioning, even though there is no known direct interference between alcohol and Descovy.

However, in general, it is established that combining antiretroviral medication with alcohol may pose a danger to the health of a patient by affecting the immune system in a way that reduces its effectiveness [2]. Alcohol may also contribute to risky behavior in HIV-infected individuals, which then might lead to the failure of the proper treatment regimen.

Regardless, patients are advised to inform their doctor of all beverages containing alcohol or any other form of alcohol they consume. It is important to keep in mind, that providing misleading information to the healthcare professional may lead to the disruption of the treatment which can have harmful effects on one’s health or even cause the HIV drug-resistance.


  1. Emtricitabine / Tenofovir Alafenamide.
  2. Alcohol consumption effect on antiretroviral therapy and HIV-1 pathogenesis: role of cytochrome P450 isozymes. Kumar S, Jin M, Ande A, Sinha N, Silverstein PS, Kumar A. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2012;8(11):1363–1375. doi:10.1517/17425255.2012.714366 Published 2012 August 8.
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