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The combination of efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir is used alone or along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children weighing more than 40 kg (88 lb). Efavirenz is in a class of medications non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Emtricitabine and tenofovir are in a class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). They work by decreasing the amount of HIV in the body. Although efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir will not cure HIV, these medications may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other lifestyle changes may decrease the risk of getting or transmitting the HIV virus to other people.
The combination of efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with water on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal). Take efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir at around the same time every day. Taking efavirenz emtricitabine, and tenofovir at bedtime may make certain side effects less bothersome. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Atripla does not cure HIV infection. You can still spread HIV infection while taking Atripla. It is important to take precautions such as practicing safer sex and not sharing needles. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause trouble concentrating. Alcohol can worsen these effects. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may also worsen the side effects of this medication (such as liver problems, pancreatitis, mental/mood symptoms).
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Atripla (hives, difficulty breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Mild symptoms of lactic acidosis may worsen over time, and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have: unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, vomiting, irregular heart rate, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.
- Serious liver problems, with liver enlargement and fat in the liver.
- "Flare-ups" of hepatitis B virus infection
- Serious psychiatric problems
- Kidney problems
- Changes in bone mineral density
Can I take Atripla with food?
You should take Atripla once a day. The tablet should be swallowed whole; do not chew, crush or split it. Taking Atripla on an empty stomach (i.e. one hour before or two hours after food) can reduce the risk of some side-effects, including drowsiness and abnormal dreams.
Does Atripla cause weight gain?
Weight gain was not a side effect that occurred in clinical studies of Atripla. However, HIV treatment in general may cause weight gain.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
-History of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
-History of depression or other mental illness
-Pregnant or trying to get pregnant