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A medicine to treat HIV and prevent its acquisition through PrEP.

Last Modified: 03 May 2024

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What is Truvada?

Truvada is an antiviral medication that combines two active ingredients, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, to combat HIV-1 infection and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

Contents and Ingredients
•    Active Ingredients: Emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
•    Inactive Ingredients: Croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, etc.

Chemical Structure and Manufacture
Truvada's active components are nucleoside (emtricitabine) and nucleotide analog (tenofovir) HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors, intricately designed to prevent HIV from multiplying in the body. 

Global Name

Globally, the brand name "Truvada" is well recognized, but the medication may also be available under different brand names or as a generic medication in various countries. 
Generic and Brand Names
•    Generic Name: Emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil
•    Brand Name: Truvada


What is Truvada used for?

Truvada is prescribed for: 

  • HIV-1 treatment in combination with other antiretroviral agents. 
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV-1 infection among HIV-1-negative at-risk individuals. 
  • Treatment of Hepatitis B infection 

How do you use Truvada?

Truvada is available in tablet form for oral administration. 

Dosage Information 

  • Treatment: One tablet daily in combination with other antiretroviral agents. 
  • PrEP: One tablet daily for HIV-1 negative individuals at risk of contracting HIV-1 infection. 


  • Suitable for adults and pediatric patients weighing at least 35 kg. 
  • Not for PrEP in individuals with unknown or positive HIV-1 status
  • People with severe renal impairment or failure. 
  • Those with a history of hypersensitivity to the active ingredients or any components of the tablet. 

Allergy Information 

  • Known allergies to emtricitabine, tenofovir, or any components of Truvada. 

Warnings and Precautions 

  • Assess HIV-1 status before starting PrEP with Truvada. 
  • Monitor renal function and bone density during treatment.
  • Truvada can be taken with or without food. 

Drug Interactions 

  • Drugs affecting renal function or competing for renal tubular secretion. 
  • Concomitant use with other drugs containing emtricitabine or tenofovir disoproxil. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include headache, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Serious side effects may include kidney problems, lactic acidosis, liver issues, and bone loss.

Note: Report any unusual symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.

Pharmacist Tips

Storage Information

  • Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

Handling Instructions

  • Keep the container tightly closed when not in use.


Where is Truvada available in Hong Kong?

Truvada is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.


How long does Truvada take to work?

Truvada for PrEP reaches maximum protection against HIV for receptive anal sex after about 7 days of daily use. For receptive vaginal sex and injection drug use, it takes approximately 20 days of daily use. Consistent, daily dosing is critical for effectiveness. It's used in combination with other antiretrovirals for treating HIV, with the time to viral suppression varying by individual. Always follow healthcare guidance and use in conjunction with safer sex practices.

How long does Truvada stay in your system after stopping?

After stopping Truvada, the active ingredients emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate have different times to clear from the body. Emtricitabine has a half-life of around 10 hours, while tenofovir disoproxil has a half-life of around 17 hours. It typically takes about 5 half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from the body, so Truvada may take approximately 2 to 4 days to be cleared from the system after the last dose.

Can Truvada be used as a standalone treatment for HIV?

No, it must be used in conjunction with other antiretroviral medications.

How effective is Truvada for PrEP?

When taken consistently as prescribed, Truvada is highly effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection. 

Can you take Truvada with other medications?

Always consult with a healthcare provider, as interactions may occur.

What happens if I miss a dose of Truvada?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then continue with your regular schedule.

Is Truvada safe during pregnancy?

Discuss with your healthcare provider, as Truvada can be used during pregnancy if clearly needed.

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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