Tenofovir and emtricitabine, a combination sold under the name Truvada, is a drug used in a strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV/AIDS. It is recommended for HIV non-infected individuals who face high risks of getting infected.
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Generic versions of Truvada are available, and they cost about 3 times less than the brand drug. Contrary to what most people who worry about the quality of generic meds think, besides the difference in name and packaging, there is absolutely no other difference, and for Truvada, the same applies. The brand name drug and generic versions are exactly the same in terms of ingredients used, performance, and efficacy.
The reason why generic drugs go for a way cheaper price than the brand drug is that they come after the patent for the original drugs expire. Truvada generics are as effective as Truvada itself, and they can be bought from online pharmacy stores.
Currently, besides the generic version, there are no Truvada alternatives for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) approved by the food and drug administration (FDA) for preventing an HIV non-infected individual from contracting the virus.
The generic versions of the drug Truvada are available as Tenof-EM, Tavin-EM, Ricovir-EM, and Tenvir-EM. These drugs all have one thing in common: they are all combination drugs, i.e., they contain two active ingredients (emtricitabine and tenofovir) in a single pill. This qualifies them for PrEP treatment. What this means is that, while each of them can be taken as a standalone drug (for PrEP), they can be taken alongside other ARVs, for the control of HIV. All drugs to be used for PrEP must contain both emtricitabine and tenofovir.
These cost-effective Truvada alternatives can be bought via PrEPGeneric. It is a trusted online pharmacy with a safe and secure payment process that offers high-grade anti-HIV medications for sale at an affordable price.
Generally, for HIV to reproduce and spread throughout the body, it requires a particular enzyme medically referred to as reverse transcriptase. Cells infected with HIV use this enzyme to kickstart reproduction, creating more HIV copies.
Because the virus cannot multiply without the use of this enzyme, PrEP meds work by disrupting the activity of the enzyme, thus inhibiting the enzyme (reverse transcriptase) and suppressing the virus. However, for the meds to work as they are designed to, users must follow the prescription very strictly.
It is worthy of note that if the drugs are not used correctly, complications or side effects such as those discussed later in this article may arise.
Whether it's Truvada generics or the brand drug itself, there are certain conditions and times when it may not be recommended for use. Here are a few situations that can warrant the need to steer clear of PrEP.
Already infected with HIV or suspicion of an infection: PrEP is meant for only individuals who may be at serious risk of getting infected, and not those already infected. Here's why. Though Truvada contains ARVs used in the regular treatment of HIV, alone, it is not strong enough to control or manage an infection. Taking Truvada when already exposed to HIV can make the virus develop resistance to the drug.
If HIV infection is suspected, perhaps after potential exposure, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is the option to take rather than PrEP. PEP is the procedure available for people who suspect recent exposure to the virus. It involves using ARV drugs to avoid infection after exposure. However, PEP is only effective if the procedure is followed not more than 72 hours from the time of exposure to the virus:
For any of the above reasons, it may be necessary to halt the PrEP so as to prevent any complications.
Anti-HIV drugs are effective; however, they may not provide the protection they are designed to if they are not taken correctly.
Depending on the type of sexual intercourse being practiced (anal or vaginal sex), there are recommended ways to take anti-HIV drugs. In all, there are 4 different ways these drugs can be taken. They include:
As stated earlier, there are certain ways to take the drugs that pertain to anal sex, and others to vaginal sex. Find the classification below:
For both vaginal and anal sex: Holiday PrEP and Daily PrEP are the only ways of taking anti-HIV drugs that works perfectly for vaginal and anal sex. The others are not recommended for this.
For anal sex alone: event-based dosing (EBD) or On Demand PrEP and 4 pills per week are the two suitable procedures for anal sex. These methods of taking the drug will be ineffective for vaginal sex.
Below is a table showing how to take anti-HIV drugs correctly in the different ways available:
|Different ways for taking the drug||Description|
|Daily PrEP routine (1 pill per day)||Daily PrEP involves taking PrEP once at the same time every day. The pill can be taken with or without food. The advantage of using daily PrEP is that intake might be missed a couple of times without protection being compromised.|
|Event-based dosing (EBD) or on demand PrEP||If sexual intercourse without protection is planned 24 hours in advance:
If sex is continued, 1 pill should be taken once every day (every 24 hrs) until sex is stopped for two days. EBD is to be avoided by people suffering from hepatitis B (HBV). With this method, there is no room to miss any dose.
|4 Pills per week (the Ts and Ss)||Here, daily PrEP routine should be carried out for 7 days before reducing dosage to 4 pills per week. On beginning the 4 pills per week routine, the pills should be taken on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, hence the name Ts and Ss. One benefit of the 4 pills per week is that it eliminates the need to take many pills even when the frequency of sex is low. For example, 1-2 times per month.|
|Holiday PrEP||Holiday PrEP is to be followed at times when risks are much higher due to a high prevalence of HIV in the country being traveled to, for example. Here are the tips for a 7-day holiday (for example) on how the pills should be taken:
Any of the above drug intake methods can be adopted depending on what sort of sex will be practiced (vaginal or anal). However, it is worthy of note that whatever method is adopted, the prescribed format for intake should be followed correctly.
Possible side effects that may be associated with Truvada generic for PrEP can be classified into both short and long-term adverse effects. Short-term effects include:
Facts show that not every user of the drugs experiences these adverse effects, and that only about 1 in 10 people do when they first begin the medication.
On the one hand, some long-term adverse effects that may arise include:
The long-term effects have been found to be linked to the presence of tenofovir (one active ingredient in Truvada), however, trials show that they disappear weeks after PrEP is discontinued.
In all, facts show that the negative effect of the drug on the younger population who use PrEP for shorter periods is very little.
Not just the generic versions of Truvada, but also the brand name or original drug (since they are exactly the same), hardly interact with other drugs.
However, complete care should be taken if PrEP is to be used alongside non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen, which can affect the kidney. It is advisable that healthcare providers be informed of any other drug, over-the-counter (OTC) or not, that may be prescribed, to be on the safe side.
Truvada has not been found to interact with alcohol. However, if alcohol interferes with one's ability to strictly adhere to prescription or get proper rest, it is advisable to limit its use.
Truvada has been found to have some interaction with food, but in a positive way. Late results from clinical research showed that taking the drug with food could boost the drug levels by 30%, which could make it more effective. However, the 30% increase is considered clinically negligible or insignificant since the drug levels without the 30% boost remain high enough for TDF to be just as effective as needed.
For people new to PrEP or those with a viral load that is still detectable, it may be helpful to take generics of Truvada with food.
A few users of the FDA-approved generics of Truvada have complained about some side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and stomach upset. A majority of them reported that between the first and second week of use, the side effects started to disappear. Others reported the disappearance of side effects after the second week of use.
Generally, while it is normal for “a few” first-time users of Truvada for PrEP or the generic versions to experience certain discomforts, associated complications and some side effects have been linked to incorrect use of the drug. For best results, HIV/anti-HIV drugs should be taken exactly as prescribed without skipping any doses.
Overall, the feedback from users in terms of effectiveness and ease of use has been positive.
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