Isentress (Raltegravir) Vs Stribild (Elvitegravir / Cobicistat / Emtricitabine / Tenofovir)

Using these two medications simultaneously can be detrimental. Patients should not use these drugs concomitantly but source other alternatives.

What Is Isentress?

Isentress is a very popular antiretroviral medication containing raltegravir as an active component. It is used to treat HIV in children and adults [1]. In most cases, Isentress is usually combined with other medications for a higher level of efficacy. This ARV drug can also be used as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in addition to other PEP treatments to prevent HIV after one might have been exposed to the virus.

Raltegravir belongs to a category of drugs known as integrase inhibitors. It blocks and inhibits the actions of integrase, an HIV enzyme.

When using these tabs, it is important to avoid self-medication as much as possible. Patients who need Isentress should visit their doctor or an HIV center before going ahead with the treatment.

This medication should be used according to the doctor’s instructions without skipping a dose. It should be taken orally with or without food. It is still uncertain whether this drug is suitable for pregnant women. Thus, they should turn to a health care provider prior to usage. In the same vein, patients allergic to raltegravir should ask a doctor for suitable alternatives.

What Is Stribild Used For?

Stribild is a combination medication used to treat HIV. It is popularly called the Quad pill and is made up of 4 different components known as elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. Elvitegravir is an integrase inhibitor, while tenofovir and emtricitabine fall under a class of drugs known as NRTIs (nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors). On the other hand, cobicistat is a cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) inhibitor [2].

Stribild was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on August 27, 2012. When using this medication, patients may be required to stop administering other drugs. As such, they should inform their doctor about any other tabs that they may be using.

Drugs Comparison: Isentress Vs Stribild

Although Isentress and Stribild are both antiretroviral medications, they have their differences. Isentress is usually combined with other ARV drugs including nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), a combination of tenofovir/emitricitabine (FTC/TDF), a combination of lamivudine/abacavir (3TC/ABC), protease inhibitors, and others [3]. On the other hand, Stribild has 4 active components and is regarded as a complete medication or routine for the treatment of HIV-1 infection [2].

As such, Stribild should not be coadministered with Isentress. This is because the combination of its active components with Isentress could lead to severe adverse reactions that could have a long-term effect on the patient’s health.


  1. Raltegravir.
  2. Elvitegravir / Cobicistat / Emtricitabine / Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate.
  3. Management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) Participants Treated With Antiretroviral (ARV) Combination Therapy Including Raltegravir (MK-0518-138). Last Verified: October 2015.
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