What is this medicine?
TENOFOVIR is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus cells from multiplying in your body.
Tenofovir is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Tenofovir is also used to treat chronic hepatitis B.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
You should not take Tenofovir if you are allergic to tenofovir. Do not take Tenofovir together with adefovir (Hepsera), or with combination medicines that contain tenofovir.
Tenofovir should not be given to a child with HIV who is younger than 2 years old. This medicine should not be used to treat hepatitis B in a child younger than 12 years old.
To make sure Tenofovir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver disease (especially hepatitis B if you also have HIV);
- kidney disease; or
- low bone mineral density.
- Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking 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. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but 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.
Tenofovir can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Tenofovir to treat hepatitis B. 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
How should I take this medicine?
Before you start treatment with Tenofovir, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have HIV (if you are being treated for hepatitis B) or hepatitis B (if you are being treated for HIV).
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Tenofovir tablets may be taken with or without food. The oral powder should be taken with food. Mix the powder with soft food such as applesauce, yogurt, or baby food. Do not mix Tenofovir oral powder with liquid.
If a child is taking this medication, tell your doctor if the child has any changes in weight. Tenofovir doses are based on weight in children.
While using Tenofovir, you may need frequent blood tests. Your liver and kidney function may also need to be checked.
Use Tenofovir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. 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.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using Tenofovir. Visit your doctor regularly.
What 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 should I watch for while taking this medicine?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.
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 side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Tenofovir: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Early symptoms of lactic acidosis may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or unusual bleeding;
- kidney problems – increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, constipation, little or no urinating; or
- liver problems–nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Tenofovir may increase your risk of certain infections or autoimmune disorders by changing the way your immune system works. Symptoms may occur weeks or months after you start treatment. Tell your doctor if you have:
- signs of a new infection–fever, night sweats, swollen glands, mouth sores, diarrhea, stomach pain, weight loss;
- chest pain (especially when you breathe), dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
- cold sores, sores on your genital or anal area;
- rapid heart rate, feeling anxious or irritable, weakness or prickly feeling, problems with balance or eye movement;
- trouble speaking or swallowing, severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control; or
- swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex.
Common Tenofovir side effects may include:
- mild nausea or stomach pain, mild diarrhea;
- depression, headache, dizziness, mild weakness;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- mild itching or rash; or
- changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
What may interact with this medicine?
Tenofovir can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including: antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Tenofovir, especially other HIV or AIDS medications, such as:
- didanosine; or
- lopinavir and ritonavir.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Tenofovir, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.