Emtricitabine is used together with other medicines to treat Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Take Emtricitabine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as a capsule or as an oral solution.
If you are taking an oral solution, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
Emtricitabine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not use this medicine if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to Emtricitabine or any of its ingredients.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- very low or poor immune system
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you have both HIV infection and hepatitis B infection, do not stop taking Emtricitabine without discussing with your doctor as your hepatitis B infection may worsen. Your doctor may order regular blood tests for you for several months after stopping Emtricitabine to make sure your hepatitis B infection is under control.
This medicine does not reduce your risk of passing the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or through contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you take proper precautions to avoid spreading the HIV infection to others.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Hepatitis B tests will be done before treatment initiation to know if this medicine is suited for you to take.
- Routine tests (e.g. viral load, CD4, serum creatinine, liver function test) may be done while you are being treated with Emtricitabine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Emtricitabine may cause any of the following side effects: headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, stomach pain, rash, muscle pain, joint pain, weakness, cough, difficulty sleeping, and unusual dreams.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, right-sided abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles accompanied by fever
- abnormal heartbeat, muscle pain or cramps
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking the following
- medicines used to treat viral infections e.g. ribavarin, lamivudine, valganciclovir or ganciclovir
- orlistat (medicine for weight loss)
- cladribine (medicine used to treat leukemia)
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store Emtricitabine capsule in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Emtricitabine oral solution should be refrigerated between 2-8°C before opening and stored at a temperature below 25°C after opening. Discard the solution 45 days after opening.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.