What Is Truvada?

Thousands of people in the United States live with HIV, but this infection is no longer a verdict for people having a HIV-positive status. The virus can be effectively stopped from spreading. Furthermore, people can be prevented from being infected. Go on reading if you want to know more.

This is a brand-name medication which is used to cure HIV infections in HIV-positive individuals. The drug is also prescribed in order to prevent this infection in people who have higher risks of getting HIV.

This is the only medicine which is approved by the FDA for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – a definition for the therapy which starts before a person is exposed to HIV [1].

🔍What Is Truvada Used For?

So, what is Truvada? For over 10 years, it has been found as a forceful drug in a combination therapy for both treating HIV and preventing HIV-negative people from getting the infection [2].

Recent studies show that this drug reduces the risk of the virus transmission by 75% in mixed-status couples in which one partner has the infection and the other does not.

Truvada is not a panacea from AIDS and HIV, but it can be used to cure this infection. This drug is known to protect T-cells in a human body [3]. This is a special type of immune cells which are targeted by the virus. Truvada prevents the virus from replicating in the cells and terminates the infection before it proliferates. The PrEP therapy keeps people from getting sick because they have this drug in the body beforehand. This is some kind of prevention strategy in HIV management.

As these tablets are excreted from the body over time, they should be taken regularly to serve their mission.

💊What Does Truvada Medication Look Like?

Truvada pills come in strength of 200-300 mg of the active components. What does a tablet look like? The pills have an oblong shape and are blue in color. They have an imprint “701” on one side and are debossed with the word “GILEAD” on another side. They are issued in bottles which contain 30 tablets [4].

When they are manufactured by different pharmacies or sold under different brands, they may look different.

🔬Active Ingredients

Truvada is a combination of the two antiretroviral medicines – 200 mg of emtricitabine and 300 mg of tenofovir DF. These components refer to a group of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). They stop the human immunodeficiency virus in the body so that it cannot multiply and cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) eventually. They work by blocking reverse transcriptase enzymes which are used by the virus in order to reproduce and copy its genetic material.

The drug contains such inactive ingredients as lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, pregelatinised maize starch, magnesium stearate, and others. The film-coating includes hypromellose, indigo carmine aluminium lake, triacetin, titanium dioxide, and lactose [5].

👨🏻‍⚕️Talk to Your Doctor About PrEP

Before you start therapy with Truvada, this is very important to visit a doctor and get a consultation. A skilled professional will examine your health and prescribe an individual treatment plan [6].

He may ask you to get tested for HIV-1 because only adult and HIV-negative people can use this drug for PrEP. If a person has recently become infected, HIV-1 tests can miss the infection. That is why it is necessary to get tested every three months. Inform your GP if you think that you have been exposed to the infection.

Tell your doctor if you have any health problems or had them in the past like:

  • kidney or liver diseases;
  • bone disorders;
  • hepatotoxicity;
  • hepatitis B or C.

Inform your physician about all the medicines which you currently take – prescription and over-the-counter, herbs, vitamins, supplements, and others.

This will help prevent potential interactions [7].

Truvada components are removed from the body by kidneys. Other drugs which are administered at the same time are also excreted by the renal system. This may cause the accumulation of the medicines in a body and increase the risks of getting side effects.

These active substances may interact with Truvada:

  • acyclovir;
  • aspirin;
  • diclofenac;
  • ibuprofen;
  • gentamicin;
  • valacyclovir.

Certain medicines for cancer, infections, bowel disorders, arthritis, pain, and osteoporosis combined with Truvada may harm your kidneys either.

Tell your doctor if you use illegal drugs, drink alcoholic beverages, or smoke.

Inform your health care provider if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you plan to become pregnant because the drug can harm an unborn baby.

Truvada is prescribed for adult patients at the age of 18-65. Any other drug usage options are discussed with the therapist individually.

📌Important Usage Tips

Stick to the following rules if you want to get more benefits from Truvada therapy:

  • take the pills in accordance with your doctor’s prescription. The usual daily dose is one tablet;
  • a tablet is swallowed with a glass of water;
  • do not cut, chew, or crush a pill;
  • consume it with or without food. If you feel that the drug irritates your stomach, use it after meals;
  • try to take the medicine at regular time intervals to keep Truvada blood level constant;
  • do not skip doses or stop taking the drug. Skipping doses lowers the amount of Truvada in the blood and makes the virus resistant to the medication;
  • do not share this drug with others even if a person has similar conditions;
  • do not change the dosage unless you are told by your doctor;
  • if you skip the dose, swallow a pill when you remember and then follow your regular intake scheme. Do not take a double dose at a time. [8].

If you overdose, address the Poison Center or the nearest emergency department. Do this even if you have no signs of poisoning.

Have fewer partners and practice safe sex during Truvada treatment, this helps reduce the risks of getting the virus.

Have regular check-ups for HIV infection because HIV-infected people need more medicines to treat the infection. If people continue taking only Truvada after they have been diagnosed with HIV, the disease will be harder to treat over time [9].

💵How to Buy Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis?

The brand-name Truvada is licensed and approved for use and sale in the United States. This means that people who need to take Truvada for PrEP may ask their therapist to write the prescription. Most physicians prescribe three months of the drug therapy in one prescription. Then you go to a local pharmacy which stocks this medication and buy it.

Unfortunately, this drug is very expensive and may not be covered by certain insurance programs. A lot of people still face challenges in getting this medicine for PrEP. Social media is in regular dialogue with advocates, physicians, and public health officials to attract worldwide attention to this problem.

Generic versions of Truvada help solve this problem. They are usually less expensive and can be easily ordered from online suppliers.

HIVPrEP is a reliable online source about Truvada and its generics that can be purchased cheaper and even without prescription. You can find various medicines for sale which can be effectively used for PrEP. They contain the same active substances and are safe for users. These medicines are cheap because they are made in lower-income countries which have special licenses. What to choose is up to you.

📚References

  1. Truvada: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects by Drugs.com. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. Truvada: Dosage, Side Effects. AIDSinfo. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  3. Truvada: Dosage, Side Effects, Uses, and More by Healthline Media. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  4. Highlights of prescribing information by Gilead Sciences, Inc. Retrieved May 2018.
  5. Medscape. Truvada (emtricitabine-tenofovir DF). Retrieved 11 May 2015
  6. Truvada dose – Forum on HIV Drug Resistance. TheBody.com. Retrieved 27 July 2007
  7. NAM and aidsmap. Truvada drugs factsheet. Retrieved October 2017.
  8. The electronic Medicines Compendium. Truvada Summary of Product Characteristics. Retrieved 8 October 2018
  9. Truvada: Side Effects, Interactions, Warning, Dosage & Uses. RxList.com online medical resource.
Logan Morris

Expert in pharmaceutical practice and antiviral medicine, founder of HIVPrEP. Main goal is to popularize HIV topics and create awareness for global masses on how to prevent the disease and how to use HIV medication safely.

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