Vemlidy is a prescription medicine used to treat chronic (long-lasting) hepatitis B virus (HBV) in adults and children 12 years of age with stable (compensated) liver disease. Vemlidy does not cure hepatitis B virus infection, and it is not known if it can prevent the spread of the virus to others. It contains the active ingredient tenofovir alafenamide, which is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor.
Tenofovir works by stopping the hepatitis B virus in the liver from multiplying. It is prescribed to be activated in the liver, and once there, it interferes with the normal working of an enzyme (DNA polymerase) that is essential for the virus to replicate and multiply. This slows down the virus’s ability to spread in the body and can help reduce the amount of hepatitis B virus in the blood. As a result, Vemlidy can help to improve liver inflammation and reduce the risk of serious liver-related complications in people with chronic hepatitis B.
Uses and Dosage
Vemlidy is a tablet taken orally, usually once daily with or right after a meal, or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water and do not break, divide, or chew this medication. If you are on dialysis, take this nucleoside analog after your dialysis treatment.
The recommended dosage for Vemlidy in adults and pediatric patients who are 12 years of age and older is 25 mg (one tablet) taken orally once daily with food. The dosage for patients with renal impairment may be different – it is not recommended in patients with end stage renal disease who require dialysis. As with any medication, please consult with your healthcare provider for personalized dosage instructions.
Take Vemlidy regularly and on a dosing schedule to achieve the best results. The dosing and length of treatment will depend on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you are taking. Do not adjust your dosage without consulting a healthcare professional. Do not stop taking Vemlidy abruptly, even for a brief time, as this can lead to worsening or drug-resistant infections.
Common Side Effects of Vemlidy (Tenofovir alafenamide):
- Abdominal discomfort
- Tiredness or fatigue
Serious Side Effects of Vemlidy (Tenofovir alafenamide):
- Change in urine output
- Dark urine
- Deep or rapid breathing
- Difficulty breathing
- Lactic acidosis (deep and rapid breathing, drowsiness, weakness)
- Little or no urination
- Loss of appetite
- Mental or mood changes
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe dizziness
- Severe stomach pain
- Swelling of your face lips tongue or throat
- Unusual thirst
- Unusual weakness
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
Form and Strength
Vemlidy (Tenofovir alafenamide) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 25 mg
- Vemlidy should not be used alone to treat HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1) infection.
- Vemlidy may cause serious side effects, such as worsening of hepatitis B virus infection or development of drug resistance.
- Vemlidy may also cause kidney problems, including kidney failure, as well as bone loss.
- Vemlidy may interact with other medications, so it is important to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking.
- Vemlidy may cause lactic acidosis, a build-up of lactic acid in the body that can be life-threatening.
- Vemlidy may cause flare-ups of hepatitis B symptoms when treatment is stopped, so it is important to discuss any changes in your medication with your doctor.
- Vemlidy may be harmful to a developing fetus and should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the unborn baby.
- Vemlidy may also be present in breast milk and may cause harm to a nursing infant, so it is important to discuss any concerns with your doctor before breastfeeding.
- People with liver disease or liver problems may be at an increased risk of side effects from Vemlidy.
- Vemlidy may cause changes in body fat distribution, including increased fat in the upper back, neck, and breasts, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long can hepatitis B patients use tenofovir tablets?
Treatment for hepatitis B can be long-term. Continue to take tenofovir until you are advised otherwise by your doctor, even if you feel well. Most people with chronic hepatitis B will be advised to eat a normal healthy balanced diet.
Is Vemlidy a cure for hepatitis B?
No, Vemlidy is not a cure for hepatitis B. It is used to treat chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and can help reduce the amount of HBV in the body, but it cannot completely eliminate the virus.
Can I drink alcohol while taking Vemlidy?
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Vemlidy, as alcohol can increase the risk of liver damage.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Vemlidy?
If you miss a dose of Vemlidy, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is within 4 hours of your next scheduled dose, you should skip the missed dose and take the next one at the regular time.