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emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir

Pronunciation: em trye SYE ta been, nel FIN a veer, ten OF oh vir

Brand: AccessPak for HIV PEP Expanded with Viracept

What is the most important information I should know about emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir?

Multum donot

You should not take this medication if you have severe liver or kidney disease, or if you are allergic to emtricitabine (Emtriva, Atripla), nelfinavir (Viracept), or tenofovir (Viread). Do not take this medication with other medicines that also contain emtricitabine or tenofovir (Atripla, Emtriva, Viread), or lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, or Trizivir).

There are many other drugs that can cause serious or life threatening medical problems if you take them together with this medication. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

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Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking emtricitabine or tenofovir. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

What is emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir?

Emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir are antiviral drugs that prevent HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cells from multiplying in your body.

The combination of emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medication is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir?

Multum donot

You should not take this medication if you have severe liver or kidney disease, or if you are allergic to emtricitabine (Emtriva, Atripla), nelfinavir (Viracept), or tenofovir (Viread). Do not take this medication with other medicines that also contain emtricitabine or tenofovir (Atripla, Emtriva, Viread), or lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, or Trizivir).

There are many other drugs that can cause serious or life threatening medical problems if you take them together with emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir. The following drugs should not be used while you are taking this medication:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);
  • quinidine (Quin-G);
  • pimozide (Orap);
  • midazolam (Versed) or triazolam (Halcion); or
  • an ergot medicine such as D.H.E. 45, Ergomar, Cafergot, Ergotrate, Methergine, Migergot, or Migranal.

To make sure you can safely take emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • diabetes;
  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder such as hemophilia;
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • osteopenia (low bone mineral density); or
  • if you also have hepatitis B infection.
Multum emt

Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking emtricitabine or tenofovir. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

FDA pregnancy category B. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.

Multum nobrfeed

Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.

Multum nochild

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 2 years old without medical advice.

How should I take emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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This medicine works best if you take it with food.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidney and liver function or bone density may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

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If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function at regular visits for several months after you stop using the medicine. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

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Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the tablets in their original container, along with the packet of moisture-absorbing preservative that comes with this medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir?

If you also take didanosine, take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir.

Multum donot

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

What are the possible side effects of emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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This medication may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • increased thirst, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath; or
  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, skin lesions, or cough with yellow or green mucus.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • vomiting, diarrhea, bloating;
  • headache, tired feeling, dizziness, depressed mood;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
  • runny or stuffy nose, cough; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir?

Emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use other medicines harmful to the kidneys. You may need dose adjustments or special tests if you have recently used:

  • lithium (Lithobid);
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);
  • pain or arthritis medicines such as aspirin (Anacin, Excedrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Voltaren), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others;
  • medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune) or tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • IV antibiotics such as amphotericin B (Fungizone, AmBisome, Amphotec, Abelcet), amikacin (Amikin), bacitracin (Baci IM), capreomycin (Capastat), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), streptomycin, or vancomycin (Vancocin, Vancoled);
  • antiviral medicines such as adefovir (Hepsera), cidofovir (Vistide), or foscarnet (Foscavir); or
  • cancer medicine such as aldesleukin (Proleukin), carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel), cisplatin (Platinol), ifosfamide (Ifex), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), streptozocin (Zanosar), or tretinoin (Vesanoid).
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You may need dose adjustments or special tests when taking any of these medications together with emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir.

Many other drugs can interact with emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir. Below is just a partial list:

  • antiviral medications for herpes or HIV;
  • antifungal medicine;
  • cholesterol-lowering medicines;
  • heart or blood pressure medications;
  • insulin or oral diabetes medication;
  • seizure medications; or
  • medicines to treat erectile dysfunction.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about emtricitabine, nelfinavir, and tenofovir.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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