What is this medicine?
EMTRICITABINE (em tri SIT uh bean) is an antiretroviral medicine. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or dropper to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. You can take this medicine with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 3 months old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms
loss of appetite, nausea
nausea, vomiting, unusual stomach upset or pain
right upper belly pain
unusually weak or tired
yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
skin discoloration on the hands or feet
weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
What may interact with this medicine?
Interactions are not expected.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store in the refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. If stored at room temperature, up to 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), you must throw the medicine away after 3 months.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
an unusual or allergic reaction to emtricitabine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
If you have hepatitis B, talk to your doctor if you plan to stop this medicine. The symptoms of hepatitis B may get worse if you stop this medicine.