Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Bones: Emtricitabine - tenofovir alafenamide may weaken bones. Your doctor may monitor your bone mass while you are taking this medication, especially if you are at risk for bone fracture or for disease of the bone. If you experience unexplained bone pain or break a bone, contact your doctor. Your doctor may want you to start taking vitamin D and calcium supplements.
Fat redistribution: This medication may change how fat is distributed on your body. With long-term use, fat may accumulate on the stomach, back, and breasts and be reduced on the arm, legs, and face. Notify your doctor if you start developing any changes in your body's appearance.
Hepatitis B: The safe use of this medication has not been established for people who are also infected with hepatitis B. Your doctor may test you for hepatitis B infection before starting you on this medication. If this medication is used to treat HIV for people who also have hepatitis B, worsening of hepatitis B may occur. Your doctor will monitor your liver function closely while you are taking emtricitabine - tenofovir alafenamide.
Immune reconstitution syndrome: This medication may cause immune reconstitution syndrome, where signs and symptoms of inflammation from previous infections appear. These symptoms occur soon after starting anti-HIV medication and can vary. They are thought to occur as a result of the immune system improving and being able to fight infections that have been present without symptoms (such as pneumonia, herpes, hepatitis, or tuberculosis). Report any new symptoms to your doctor immediately.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause emtricitabine - tenofovir alafenamide to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may also need to change the dosing schedule of this medication if you have existing kidney problems.
Tenofovir can cause kidney problems, including severe kidney damage and kidney failure. Your doctor may monitor your kidney function with blood tests while you are taking this medication. Additional tests may be needed if you have a history of kidney problems or if you need to take another medication that can cause kidney problems.
If you experience signs of reduced kidney function, such as decreased urination, nausea, vomiting, or swelling of the feet and ankles, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Lactic acidosis and enlarged liver: This medication can cause a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis (buildup of lactic acid), together with an enlarged fatty liver. Your doctor will periodically monitor you and perform laboratory tests to check your liver function. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of this condition, such as:
- feeling cold
- irregular heartbeat
- stomach pain
Liver problems: Emtricitabine - tenofovir alafenamide has been reported to cause decreased liver function. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may monitor your liver function while you are taking this medication, especially if you have risk factors for liver problems. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately. Emtricitabine - tenofovir alafenamide is not recommended for people with severely decreased liver function.
Pancreatitis: This medication may cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). If you have a history of or are at risk for developing pancreatitis, your doctor should closely monitor your condition while you are taking this medication. Contact your doctor if you develop signs of pancreatitis, such as:
- back pain
- rapid heartbeat
- swollen abdomen
- upper left abdominal pain
Pregnancy: The medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if emtricitabine or tenofovir alafenamide passes into breast milk. Women who have HIV infection are cautioned against breast-feeding because of the risk of passing HIV to a baby who does not have the infection.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been determined for children who are under 12 years of age or weigh less than 35 kg. Emtricitabine - tenofovir alafenamide is not recommended for this age group.