Truvada Versus Descovy: Which Drug Is Worth Buying?

Truvada and Descovy are equally highly effective drugs and tolerable when treating HIV-1 infection. Although there might be some slight differences in the way the active ingredients function in the body and the adverse effects that may be associated with them, here is a full drug comparison and the alternatives if you care about saving more money.

Choices of drugs vary dramatically from drug efficacy, tolerability, adverse effects, and cost. Although a drug may be extremely effective, its price may not favor millions of people who need to benefit from this drug.

There are more than 11M people living with HIV. Although there is no cure, there are several ongoing research programs with a common goal – to find a cure. But it’s not there yet. Nonetheless, there are highly recommended drugs that give impressive performance in treating the virus and suppressing its viral load.

Truvada Versus Descovy: Which Drug Is Worth Buying?Prevention is also a strategy to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. What’s the difference between the two meds? At PrEPGeneric, we give you detailed information on how the two drugs function and their pros and cons. In the end, the choice is to determine which drug is cost-effective and favors your health.

What Are These Medications Used For?

Although there is no cure for HIV, Truvada and Descovy have extremely impressive performance when it comes to HIV treatment. Although they may have a slightly different drug composition with the latter one being a pro-drug of Truvada, they both result in high efficacy and tolerability with Descovy having slight tolerability when it comes to BMD (bone mineral density) and kidney function.

Truvada is the most popular drug for both HIV treatment and for PrEP. Descovy is another new pro-drug of Truvada that’s used to treat HIV. It’s also in phase III testing as a PrEP drug. With its impressive performance and test/research results, and once approved, it will be the best alternative to Truvada for people with bone and kidney issues.

Truvada Main Uses

Truvada was the very first drug approved for PrEP. With its high profile for its successful performance in helping millions of people at high risk of acquiring the virus, it has gained popularity and become one of the first choice drug recommended for HIV prevention.

Before being approved for PrEP, Truvada – with its active ingredients (TDF/FTC) – was approved for HIV-1 treatment in combination with other ARV drugs. It’s a drug with high efficacy and tolerability in suppressing viral load and giving yourself a better immune system to fight opportunistic viruses.

Truvada is also approved for treating hepatitis B – another impressive milestone in performance for this treatment. Although it may be accompanied by some severe health conditions in some individuals, it’s a drug that has existed with a higher positive profile in saving millions of lives, both as a treatment and prevention medicine.

What Is Descovy Prescribed For?

Descovy is a new drug that recently entered the ranks alongside Truvada as a treatment for HIV-1. It’s a pro-drug of Truvada with an improved version of tenofovir. Descovy contains tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) or tenofovir AF– a highly tolerable drug that works well with the kidney and bones with fewer side effects.

Descovy is approved as a medication for treating HIV. It works as a combination drug used together with another third ARV drug to effectively manage or fight the HIV virus in the body.

Since it’s a drug that contains emtricitabine and TAF – two drugs used in Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir), it can also be used as PrEP. From studies, Descovy has shown high performance in preventing HIV infection as Truvada. In fact, it’s a non-inferior drug that’s favorable to health conditions such as kidney issues and BMD.

Although it’s waiting for its approval, it’s the best alternative (as an improvement) to Truvada for PrEP.

Does Truvada Work the Same Way As Descovy?

Truvada and Descovy belong to a drug class known as NRTIs, which inhibit and block the virus enzyme called reverse transcriptase. By blocking the action of reverse transcriptase, both drugs in combination with another ARV work together to prevent HIV from multiplying in the body. Both drugs are highly effective in reducing the amount of HIV in the T-cells (white blood cells).

Both drugs have the same mode of action. The only advantage of Descovy as a pro-drug of tenofovir is that it has lower drug levels (especially tenofovir) in the blood and less exposure to the kidneys, bones, and other sensitive organs.

Truvada Mechanism of Action

Anti-HIV tabletsTruvada is an NRTIs drug designed to intercept and inhibit or block the HIV virus enzyme called reverse transcriptase. This enzyme actively infects the DNA and uses it to make copies of the virus. Once these cells are infected, the body’s immune function becomes weaker as the viral load count increases.

Truvada, combined with another ARV medicine, work together to prevent the virus from increasing or replicating in the CD4 cells. The more a patient uses Truvada, the more its concentration in the body increases and becomes highly effective in reducing the amount of HIV in the T-cells (white blood cells).

As PrEP, Truvada intercepts the virus before it enters into the body. PrEP is an effective strategy where the active substances in Truvada stay alert to kill the virus in its early stages before it inhibits the cell DNA causing AIDS.

Descovy Mode of Action

Descovy works the same way as Truvada. It is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor which actively undergoes intracellular metabolism where tenofovir alafenamide is first hydrolyzed to tenofovir-alanine, and converted into parent tenofovir.

The action of tenofovir (tenofovir diphosphate) as it enters the body is to inhibit the activity of virus reverse transcriptase, causing viral DNA chain termination. Once the virus’ active action is terminated, there is no more replication of the virus and the CD4 cell count begins to increase in number, restoring the body’s immune function.

Note that Descovy doesn’t cure HIV. It reduces its viral count in the T-cells and the more you consistently use this medication, the more the viral load count decreases.

Truvada Versus Descovy: Comparison Chart

Truvada has pros and cons, just like Descovy. Both drugs are highly effective in prevention and treatment for HIV. Here are detailed Descovy vs. Truvada drug comparisons that will help you discover the right drug based on tolerability and other factors.

Brand Name/Active Ingredient Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir) Descovy (emtricitabine/tenofovir AF)
Manufacturer Gilead Sciences Gilead Sciences
Success Rate
  • up to 99% as PrEP;
  • 70%+ for those who inject drugs.
up to 99% as PrEP
Drug Class NRTIs (antiviral combinations) NRTIs (or antiviral combinations)
Approved by the U.S. FDA
  • for treating HIV/AIDS – Aug 2, 2004, as a combination with another ARV med;
  • on Jul 16, 2012 – approved as PrEP and used alongside other safer sex methods.
  • approved on April 4, 2016, for HIV treatment as a combination treatment with another ARV drug;
  • it’s yet to be approved for PrEP, having completed phase III in its assessment.
Prescribed For
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • hepatitis B treatment;
  • used alone as PrEP to prevent HIV-1 acquisition.
  • HIV/AIDS treatment;
  • proposed for PrEP approval.
Effectiveness
  • provides up to 92%-99% as PrEP reduction in HIV risk if taken as instructed by the medical specialist;
  • it’s highly effective and tolerable.
  • Descovy as a pro-drug of Truvada is well-tolerated, safe, and effective, especially in patients with liver, kidney, or BMD problems.
  • research shows that its effectiveness is non-inferior to Truvada as PrEP and as HIV/AIDS treatment.
Dosage Forms Oral tablet Oral tablet
What Does It Look Like? Truvada pill Descovy pill
Consumption Instructions
  • take one pill a day with or without a meal at the same time without missing a dose;
  • for PrEP, use other safer sex actions like a condom for higher protection.
  • don’t use this drug before consulting with a medical specialist;
  • never stop medication alone. Seek a doctor’s approval.
  • take one pill a day with or without a meal;
  • use this drug consistently without missing a dose.
  • commit to a medical check before using this drug;
  • if you need to stop the medication, ask for the doctor’s approval.
Half-Life 25.7 hours
  • Emtricitabine – half-life: 10 hr;
  • Tenofovir – 0.51 hours.
Available Generics Generic of Truvada is not yet available until 2020, but there are generic meds that have the same active substances of Truvada and are approved by the FDA for treatment of HIV/AIDS and prevention as PrEP, such as Ricovir-EM, Tenvir-EM, Tenof-EM, and Tavin-EM. There are no approved generic versions of Descovy in the USA. Generic equivalents containing the active substances – emtricitabine; tenofovir AF, are available.
Brand Price (30 tabs) Lowest cost of 30 pills is $1,748.72 Lowest cost of 30 tabs is $1,748.72
Generic Price (30 tabs) Generic meds having the same active medicines as Truvada are available for sale at the lowest price ever, costing less than $2 per pill (i.e. Tenvir-EM average cost is around $60 for 30 tabs.) There are generic drugs that are the same as Descovy in their composition available at a cost of less than $100 OTC from some suppliers.
User Experience
  • more than 94% positive reviews based on is effectiveness and tolerability;
  • it gained 9.0/10 based on 19 reviews.
Descovy is highly effective, very well tolerated and comes with fewer effects compared to Truvada.

  • 4.8+/5 for its effectiveness, ease of use, and satisfaction respectively.
Main Interactions Truvada main interactions include:

  • didanosine meds which may cause liver-related mitochondrial toxicity;
  • meds affecting renal function;
  • lopinavir/ritonavir and other HIV-1 protease inhibitors;
  • HBV antiretroviral;
  • hepatitis C antiviral agents;
  • P-gp and BCRP inhibitors.

And several others. Confirm with your specialist for all possible interactions.

Descovy interactions include:

  • other HIV meds or products that contain, emtricitabine, or tenofovir AF;
  • anticonvulsants;
  • male ED agents;
  • antiretroviral agents or protease inhibitors;
  • antimycobacterial;
  • adefovir, orlistat;
  • herbal remedies;
  • drugs that may harm the kidneys (such as aminoglycosides).

There are other drugs that interact with Descovy. Your doctor should let you know of the drugs that can cause an adverse reaction or harm your health.

Possible Adverse Reactions Adverse reactions can be avoided if you let your doctor examine your health before using Truvada. Adverse reactions:

  • drug resistance while using as PrEP;
  • a severe onset of HBV;
  • renal impairment;
  • bone reduction;
  • problems on immune reconstruction syndrome;
  • lactic acidosis.
Some adverse reactions include:

  • nausea;
  • acute renal failure;
  • lactic acidosis or enlarged fatty liver;
  • Immune reconstruction syndrome;
  • kidney damage.

Which Medication Is Tolerated Better?

As you can see from the comparison table above, both drugs have a positive side and a negative side. Weighing the right drug is based on drug tolerability and effectiveness.

Descovy, as a prodrug of tenofovir, is a much-tolerated drug, especially for patients with bone or kidney problems. This drug also proves to be non-inferior to Truvada in various performances.

Truvada, on the other hand, is highly effective and tolerable, especially for an individual with good health. As PrEP, Truvada has had an excellent profile in prevention against virus acquisition. While Descovy is yet to be approved, it has already shown greater improvement with its TAF drug composition, unlike TDF in Truvada. Once approved, it will be one of the best alternatives to Truvada when it comes to tolerability based on the patient’s health condition.

Real Reviews and Testimonials of Customers

FeedbackTruvada was the first drug to be approved for PrEP. After securing the best performance in the prevention and treatment of HIV with a positive customer or patient drug experience, it’s now among the best drug choices recommended for everyday use as PrEP and anti-HIV med.

With this high efficacy and tolerability, Truvada has been the go-to med for everyone who can afford the cost or has insurance or other programs cover their cost.

Descovy is relatively new but with highly compelling performances. Being a pro-drug of Truvada, it has already secured a place as the best alternative to Truvada with a user review of 5/5.

Although it’s a drug with high efficacy and tolerability with fewer side effects, price is still a problem. Many people wished to protect themselves or have a medicine that is well tolerated and can effectively manage their health condition. There are cost-effective generics that have the same drug composition but are available at lower prices. Many customers have a positive experience with these generics as well, and it’s worth trying.

Which Drug to Choose?

Ultimately, if the price is your factor, both drugs have the same high price tag. If you consider tolerability, I presume you would choose Descovy. How about Truvada? Truvada is highly effective and tolerable just like Descovy but comes with some adverse health conditions like bone reduction and kidney problems.

Still, Truvada isn’t ruled out completely in this comparison. If you have good health and have excellent kidney function and BMD, then Truvada is tolerable to you as well.

Generics versions of these drugs are preferred by millions of people for both PrEP and HIV management. You should not spend thousands of dollars to get a drug that has the same quality and tolerability as its generic version available at less than $100 for 30 tabs.

Drug Name Pros Cons
Truvada
  • highly recommended for treating HIV/AIDS;
  • best med for use as PrEP for preventing HIV-1 infection;
  • relatively more affordable/cheap compared to other anti-HIV combination regimens;
  • a daily pill is taken with or without a meal;
  • a patient must continue to use other safer sex methods for higher protection if used as PrEP;
  • it won’t protect against STIs;
  • very expensive;
  • as PrEP, a patient should have to adhere to a 12 week mandatory HIV test;
  • not tolerated well in patients with poor kidney function;
  • it may contribute to bone loss;
  • it may worsen or cause the onset of hepatitis B problems if a patient stops using TDF/FTC.
Descovy
  • fewer side effects and less toxic to kidneys and bones;
  • decrease drug exposure in the body (considering effects or reactions) due to better cellular penetration from TAF;
  • it’s a daily tablet taken with/without a meal;
  • highly effective and tolerable drug (non-inferior to Truvada) for both PrEP and HIV treatment.
  • can interact with several other drugs;
  • very expensive;
  • hepatitis B may get worse if you suddenly stop taking Descovy;
  • may contribute to immune reconstitution syndrome;
  • severe hepatomegaly.

If you compare one drug against another, chances are that you will prefer a drug that has high tolerability for your health. Your doctor should assess your health and recommend the best drug for either PrEP or HIV treatment for you.

Where to Buy Quality Medications Online Without Prescription?

Internet purchaseTruvada and Descovy are available for sale from the health care system. If you need to buy one of these brand name versions and are worried about their high prices, check if your insurance covers these medications. You can also opt to join free initiatives or programs that cover Truvada or Descovy.

If you need the same at an extremely cheap cost, consider ordering generic versions of either Truvada or Descovy. Both generic versions are of high quality and cost-effective. It has the same drug composition as the brand-name.

These generics are available online OTC via mail order. If you choose to order from PrEPGeneric, you get a lot of benefits, including coupons and discounts, as well as super-fast and free delivery. From our online pharmacy, you can find a wide range of products for HIV treatment such as Instgra, Tafero-EM, Viraday, Trustiva, Teevir, etc.

We do also supply PrEP medicines including Ricovir-EM, Tavin-EM, Tenof-EM, Tenvir-EM, among others. All our products are approved and of high quality. If you need to test the quality and effectiveness of these medicines, we do have free trial samples that you can order and test our HIV drugs before making a decision to buy in bulk. Take action now. Buy more and save more!