Truvada for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Truvada for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Truvada is an antiviral medicine mainly used for the treatment of HIV. This can be used alone or as part of antiviral combination therapy for HIV. This medicine helps control HIV infection to allow your immune system to work better. Truvada is also approved to use in Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP refers to people who are using HIV medication but HIV-negative to lessen their risk of infection.

How does Truvada for PrEP works?

Truvada is a combined drug of two antiviral medicines, Tenofovir Disoproxil and Emtricitabine. These two antiviral medicines stop viral DNA production and stop the spread of HIV.

PrEP is the process of preventing HIV infection by people who do not have HIV. These people are however at high risk of being infected. PrEP involves taking a pill each day as part of prophylaxis or prevention therapy.

When a person is exposed to HIV, Truvada can stop the virus from establishing a stable infection. Even though PrEP is effective in the prevention of getting HIV, using condoms also decreases the risk of getting HIV even more. It also protects you from getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Truvada is not recommended for PrEP by patients with positive HIV status or unknown HIV status. This means patients need to be tested for HIV before starting the treatment.

How long does it take for Truvada to work?

If a patient starts taking the medicine within 72 hours of exposure to HIV, Truvadacan stop HIV infection. However, it is best to start taking the medication for PEP right away after the exposure.

The product information recommends the patients take the medication right away if it is forgotten within 12 hours of the usual taking time. If you missed more than 12 hours passes since the last dose and it is close to taking the other dosage, the missed pill dose must be omitted. Moreover, if you vomit within an hour of taking the drug, you need to take another dose. If you are unsure about taking other doses, you can call your doctor for further advice. Do not take more than the prescription of your doctor.

The Effectiveness of Truvada for Prep

You may take one pill every day for prophylaxis therapy. Taking the medication at different times or forgetting to take has the most impact on decreased effectiveness of the treatment.

The effectiveness of Truvada for PrEP has been a focus of different clinical trials. Each trial looked into the decrease of HIV transmission between either:

  • Transgender women who had sex with men
  • HIV-negative men
  • HIV-negative individuals in a heterosexual partnership with a person already infected with HIV

Truvada lessens the risk of getting HIV infection from 44%-86% as compared with any other pill or no treatment at all. Moreover, during all trials, patients were supported with condoms, risk-reduction canceling, HIV testing, and management of any STIs.

Truvada Common Side Effects

Common side effects:

  • Flatulence 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rashes or skin itchiness
  • Skin discoloration
  • Insomnia

Truvada very common side effects:

  • Low potassium levels
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Physical weakness

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