What is Truvada used for?
Truvada for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medication that is prescribed to help reduce the risk of contracting HIV-1 through sex when used in combination with safer sex practices and used daily. This use of Truvada for PrEP is only for those who are HIV-negative, weigh at least 77 pounds, and are at risk of getting HIV-1. Talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health to help determine your risk of getting HIV-1 and to reduce your risk. If you already have HIV-1 or do not know your HIV-1 status do NOT take Truvada for PrEP.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truvada
Read any information for patients when you start Truvada for PrEP or whenever you get a refill. Truvada PrEP is taken orally, once per day or as directed by your doctor. Ensure that you have been tested and received results indicating that you do not already have HIV-1 before you start taking this medication. You should get tested for HIV-1 at least once every 3 months while you are on Truvada. To practice safer sex you should always know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners, and use latex or polyurethane condoms and lubricant. Ensure you are also getting tested for other sexually transmitted infections as having other infections makes it easier for HIV to infect you.
Many HIV-1 tests have the potential of missing HIV-1 infection in someone who has recently become infected. Symptoms of a new HIV-1 infection can include: fever, tiredness, headache, joint or muscle ache, sore throat, diarrhea, night sweats, vomiting, rash, as well as enlarged lymph nodes in the groin or neck. If you have a flu –like illness while taking or within the last month before starting Truvada talk to your doctor.
If you become HIV positive you will need more medication than Truvada alone to treat HIV-1. If you take only Truvada for PrEP when you have HIV-1 your infection may become harder to treat now and moving forward.
Some medications, when taken together, can interact in ways which cause new or higher risk of negative side effects. Always share a list of all medications with your doctor so that they can accurately monitor drug interactions. Some drugs should never be taken together, and some drug interactions can be mitigated by changing the dosage of one or both medications. Your doctor will have more information about drug interactions so give them a list including prescription, non-prescription and vitamin/herbal products.
The following products may interact with Truvada:
This list is not exhaustive. If you have any questions about Truvada for PrEP or any other products you can reach out to our customer service team who can connect you with a licensed pharmacist at 1-844-416-4282.
Along with Truvada’s intended effects, it may also cause some unwanted side effects. Though you will not experience all of these side effects, some, if experienced, may require medical attention.
If the following side effects occur check with your doctor:
- Blisters under the skin
- Rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
- Redness of the skin
- Skin rash, itching skin, hives or welts
- Spots on your skin resembling a blister or pimple
- Blindness or vision changes
- Burning of the face or mouth
- Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, painful, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Chest pain
- Clumsiness or unsteadiness
- Sensation of pins and needles
- Sore throat
- Stabbing pain
- Weakness in the hands or feet
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach discomfort
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Bone pain
- Convulsions or seizures
- Darkened urine
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased frequency or amount of urine
- Difficult or labored breathing
- Difficult or painful urination
- Difficulty with swallowing
- Fast heartbeat
- Fast, shallow breathing
- General feeling of discomfort
- Increase in the amount of urine
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased thirst
- Loss of appetite
- Lower back or side pain
- Muscle pain or cramping
- Muscle twitching
- Pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- Rapid weight gain
- Sudden decrease in the amount of urine
- Swelling of the face, fingers, hands, lower legs, or ankles
- Tightness in the chest
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Weight gain
- Yellow eyes or skin
You may experience some side effects that do not require medical attention. These will likely go away during treatment as you adjust to the medication. Your healthcare professional may also be able to help you avoid these side effects.
Check with your doctor if the following effects become bothersome:
- Lack or loss of strength
- Passing of gas
- Weight loss
- Acid or sour stomach
- Back pain
- Difficulty with moving
- Feeling sad or empty
- Increased cough
- Joint pain
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Muscle aching or cramping
- Muscle pain or stiffness
- Runny nose
- Stomach upset
- Stuffy nose
- Swollen joints
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
Other effects not listed may also occur in some individuals. Contact your doctor if you notice any other side effects not listed here.
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DISCLAIMER: The following summary is provided exclusively for educational purposes and does not contain all possible information about Truvada for PrEP. This summary does not replace advice from a medical professional. Always talk to your doctor for advice on your medical condition, medications you take, or your treatment. Do not delay in seeking or ignore medical advice because of information provided here.