DESCOVY (Emtricitabine/ Tenofovir Alafenamide)
DESCOVY (Emtricitabine/ Tenofovir Alafenamide)
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DESCOVY (Emtricitabine/ Tenofovir Alafenamide)

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What is this medication?

DESCOVY (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide)
Antiretroviral, Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor, Nucleoside (Anti-HIV)

DESCOVY is a two-drug combination of emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), both HIV nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), and is  indicated for treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients.

Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B (HBV) have been reported in HBV-infected individuals who have discontinued products containing emtricitabine (FTC) and/or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), and may occur with discontinuation of DESCOVY (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide). Hepatic function should be monitored following treatment.  DESCOVY used for HIV-1 PrEP must only be prescribed to individuals confirmed to be HIV-negative immediately prior to initiating and at least every 3 months during use. Drug-resistant HIV-1 variants have been identified with use of FTC/TDF for HIV-1 PrEP following undetected acute HIV-1 infection. Do not initiate DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP if signs or symptoms of acute HIV-1 infection are present unless negative infection status is confirmed.

How does this medication work? 

Emtricitabine is a cytosine analogue and tenofovir alafenamide is converted intracellularly to tenofovir (adenosine nucleotide analog) and subsequently phosphorylated by cellular kinases to the active moiety, tenofovir diphosphate. Emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide interfere with HIV viral RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activities resulting in inhibition of viral replication.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral: Take one tablet once daily.

How to Take: Take with or without food at the same time each day.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting DESCOVY (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide), make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take. Patients have been known to experience immune reconstitution syndrome, lactic acidosis, hepatomegaly, and renal toxicity. Prior to or when initiating Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide, test for hepatitis B virus infection, assess serum creatinine, estimated creatinine clearance, urine glucose, and urine protein.  If you have chronic kidney disease, also assess serum phosphorus. Screen for HIV-1 PrEP and at least once every 3 months while taking Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide, and upon diagnosis of any other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Headache, abnormal dreams, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, decreased bone mineral density.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for DESCOVY (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide), only common ones.