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Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir is a combination is a medication used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults. It contains three active ingredients: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir.
Efavirenz is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), which works by blocking the HIV virus from replicating. Emtricitabine and tenofovir are both nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), which also work by blocking the virus from replicating. Together the combination works by inhibiting the replication of HIV in the body, thus slowing the progression of the disease
The combination of these drugs is considered to be highly effective at suppressing HIV and preventing the virus from developing resistance to the treatment. It is typically taken in the form of a once daily pill and is generally well-tolerated by most patients. It is available in tablet form, and the dosage and frequency of use depend on the patient's medical history and health condition.
Use and Dosage
The Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir combination is available in tablet form, which should be taken orally on an empty stomach, usually once daily at bedtime or as advised by your healthcare provider. Taking the tablet at bedtime can help reduce certain side effects, as mentioned in the Side Effects section.
The medication contains fixed doses of efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir, and should only be used as directed by your doctor, after determining that these doses are safe and appropriate for you.
Ensure that you continue taking the tablet and any other prescribed HIV medications exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses, increase the dosage, take the drug more frequently than advised, or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) unless specifically advised by your doctor. Skipping or altering doses without approval from your doctor could increase the amount of virus in the body, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
Common Side Effects of Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir (Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir):
- Abnormally happy mood
- Darkening of skin color, especially on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Feeling agitated, worried, or nervous
- Joint or back pain
- Pale skin
- Unusual dreams
Serious Side Effects of Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir (Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir):
- Extreme tiredness
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Flu-like symptoms
- Increased thirst
- Light-colored bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Ongoing or worsening bone pain
- Pain in the in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
- Pain in upper right part of stomach
- Peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
- Shortness of breath or fast breathing
- Stomach pain
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, legs, ankles, or feet
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Urinating large amounts
- Yellowing of skin or eyes
Forms and Strength
Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir (Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir) is available in the following forms and strength:
- Lactic acidosis: This is a rare but serious side effect of the medication that can cause muscle pain, weakness, and difficulty breathing.
- Severe liver problems: The medication can cause liver damage or failure, particularly in patients who have pre-existing liver disease or are co-infected with hepatitis B or C.
- Depression or mood changes: There have been reports of depression, suicidal thoughts, and other changes in mood associated with the use of efavirenz.
- Kidney problems: The medication can affect kidney function, particularly in patients with pre-existing kidney disease.
- Osteoporosis: There is some evidence that long-term use of tenofovir can lead to a loss of bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
- Immune reactivation syndrome: This is a rare but potentially serious complication of HIV treatment that can cause inflammation and other symptoms in patients with previous opportunistic infections.
- Increased risk of bone fractures: There is some evidence that long-term use of tenofovir can increase the risk of bone fractures, particularly in patients with osteoporosis or other risk factors.
- Drug interactions: The medication can interact with other drugs, including some over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements, potentially leading to harmful side effects.
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease: Some studies have suggested that use of antiretroviral medications, including efavirenz, may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir safe during pregnancy?
This drug combination is considered safe to use during pregnancy, but you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking it if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Can Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir cause liver damage?
Yes, in rare cases, this drug combination can cause liver damage. Symptoms of liver damage may include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, abdominal pain, or fatigue.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir?
If you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, you should skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How long do I need to take Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir?
The length of treatment with this drug combination will depend on your individual situation. Your doctor will recommend that you take it for as long as it is needed to manage your HIV infection.
Can I drink alcohol while taking Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir?
You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication, as it can increase the risk of certain side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness.
It's important to purchase Efavirenz/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir from verified Canadian pharmacy.