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Atripla vs Truvada

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Atripla Information

Truvada Information


Dosage Information

Side Effects



Market Information



For patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or those at high risk of contracting HIV, certain medications that interfere with the virus's ability to multiply in the body can help manage symptoms and potentially prevent progression to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Atripla and Truvada are two such drugs that are prescribed for this purpose. Both contain antiretroviral compounds, but they each target different stages of the HIV life cycle. Atripla is a combination drug consisting of three components: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. It works by inhibiting both reverse transcriptase and integrase - enzymes critical for viral replication. On the other hand, Truvada consists only of emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate which primarily inhibit reverse transcriptase alone.

Atripla vs Truvada Side By Side

Brand NameAtriplaTruvada
ContraindicationsShould not be taken with certain types of hepatitis B medication due to the risk of severe interactions.Should not be taken with certain types of hepatitis B medication due to the risk of severe interactions.
CostAround $3,000 for 30 tabletsAbout $2,000 for a monthly supply
Generic NameEfavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarateEmtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
Most Serious Side EffectSigns of a new infection, liver problems, pancreatitis symptoms, unusual changes in mood or behavior, severe skin reactionAllergic reactions, difficulty breathing, persistent nausea, vomiting or stomach pain, dark urine, yellowing of the skin and eyes, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, changes in mood
Severe Drug InteractionsNot specified, but it's important to inform physicians about all medications being taken to avoid severe interactions.Not specified, but it's crucial to discuss all current medications with a healthcare provider to prevent serious interactions.
Typical DoseOne tablet once a day, taken on an empty stomach preferably before bedtimeOne tablet per day, each containing 200 mg of emtricitabine and 300 mg of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate

What is Atripla?

Atripla and Truvada are antiretroviral medications used in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Atripla, a combination medication containing efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, was first approved by the FDA in 2006. This drug works by inhibiting key enzymes that HIV uses to replicate within the body. It is typically prescribed as part of an antiretroviral therapy regimen for patients diagnosed with HIV.

Truvada contains two active ingredients - emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate - but differs from Atripla by not including efavirenz. Because Truvada has fewer active drugs compared to Atripla, it generally causes fewer side effects. However, both medications have been linked to kidney problems and bone loss. Deciding between these treatments usually involves considering multiple factors such as existing medical conditions, potential interactions with other medicines being taken concurrently, lifestyle considerations and patient preference.

What conditions is Atripla approved to treat?

Atripla is approved for the treatment of specific conditions related to HIV:

  • HIV-1 infection in adults and children who weigh at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds)
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in combination with other HIV drugs.

On the other hand, Truvada has a broader range of uses including:

  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), where it's used by people who are at high risk of getting HIV through sex or injection drug use
  • Treatment of HIV-1 infection when used together with another antiretroviral medication.

How does Atripla help with these illnesses?

Atripla aids in the management of HIV infection by combining three active ingredients: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. These work together to prevent the virus from multiplying and spreading throughout the body. Efavirenz is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), while emtricitabine and tenofovir are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Together they block an enzyme called reverse transcriptase that HIV uses to reproduce itself, thus lowering viral load within the patient's body.

HIV is a retrovirus that targets specific cells in our immune system known as CD4 cells or T-cells. By reducing the amount of virus present in one's system, Atripla can help keep these important immune cells intact and enable patients to better manage their condition. This combined approach not only helps control symptoms but also limits potential damage to the immune system.

What is Truvada?

Truvada, a brand name for the combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, is an antiretroviral medication used in the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. It functions as a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), meaning it blocks an essential viral enzyme — reverse transcriptase — thereby slowing down the progression of HIV disease. Truvada was first approved by the FDA in 2004. As Truvada does not contain any protease inhibitors or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), its side-effect profile differs from those drugs that do; particularly in that it's less likely to cause lipid abnormalities and rash, which are common with some other antiretroviral medications like Atripla. The effects of emtricitabine and tenofovir can be beneficial for managing HIV infection, especially when combined with other antiretroviral therapies.

What conditions is Truvada approved to treat?

Truvada is an FDA-approved medication that has been proven effective for the following uses:

  • As a part of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in combination with other HIV medications for treating HIV-1 infection
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 in high-risk individuals when used consistently and correctly.

How does Truvada help with these illnesses?

Truvada is a combination of two antiretroviral medications, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, which are used to block the action of reverse transcriptase, an enzyme crucial for HIV replication. By inhibiting this enzyme, Truvada prevents the virus from multiplying in the body, thereby helping to control infection levels. The drug has been proven effective not only in treatment but also as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV in individuals at high risk. While Atripla combines three antiretroviral drugs into one pill and is primarily used as a treatment for existing HIV infections rather than prevention like Truvada. Emphasizing on Truvada's effectiveness in both management and prevention makes it unique among other therapies designed to combat HIV/AIDS.

How effective are both Atripla and Truvada?

Both Atripla and Truvada have well-established histories in managing HIV infection, with the FDA approving these drugs only a couple of years apart. They comprise different combinations of antiretroviral medications and may be prescribed under varying circumstances based on the patient's health status and treatment goals.

Atripla is a combination of three medications: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. On the other hand, Truvada consists of two active ingredients, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Both drugs are used as part of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected individuals but come with differing side effect profiles due to their different components.

An extensive range of clinical trials has shown that both Atripla and Truvada effectively suppress viral replication when taken as directed alongside other antiretroviral therapies. However, it should be noted that while both medications help manage HIV infection by reducing viral load and increasing CD4 cell counts (important immune cells), neither drug cures HIV or prevents transmission.

A 2008 study comparing single-pill Atripla therapy to multi-pill regimens including Truvada showed similar efficacy between groups in terms of viral suppression rates at 48 weeks. However, discontinuation rates were higher in the Atripla group primarily due to central nervous system-related side effects associated with efavirenz.

As per safety reviews conducted over several years post-approval; both treatments have been found generally safe within their intended use populations — adults living with HIV who need ART.

In conclusion, choice between these two options will depend largely on individual patient factors — such as potential for drug interactions or pre-existing conditions affecting kidney function — along with lifestyle considerations such as pill burden preference since Atripla can provide complete ART regimen in one tablet daily versus Truvada which needs to be combined with additional medication(s).

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At what dose is Atripla typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Atripla and Truvada are quite specific due to their use in treating HIV-1 infection. For Atripla, the standard dosage is one tablet once a day, taken on an empty stomach preferably before bedtime. The exact strength of the tablet contains efavirenz 600 mg, emtricitabine 200 mg, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg. On the other hand, Truvada's recommended dose is also one tablet daily which includes emtricitabine at 200mg and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate at 300mg - it can be taken with or without food. In any case where there seems to be no improvement in condition or if side effects become severe it's best for patients to consult with their healthcare provider as soon as possible.

At what dose is Truvada typically prescribed?

Truvada treatment is typically initiated with a dosage of one tablet per day, each containing 200 mg of emtricitabine and 300 mg of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. It should be taken at the same time every day for maximum effectiveness. The daily dose does not need to be divided or spaced out throughout the day. This regimen continues indefinitely as long as it aids in maintaining an undetectable viral load and/or serves as effective pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). However, it's crucial to note that Truvada should always be used in combination with other HIV-1 medications when treating individuals infected with HIV-1.

What are the most common side effects for Atripla?

Common side effects of Atripla may include:

  • Dizziness, headache, trouble concentrating
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems
  • Rash, itching
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue (general weakness and tiredness)
  • Depression or mood changes
  • Darkening of the skin on palms or soles of feet
  • Changes in body fat distribution

On the other hand, Truvada's common side effects typically involve:

-Diarrhea, nausea -Rash, itching -Loss of appetite
-Stomach pain or discomfort
-Increased liver enzymes
-Fatigue (general weakness and tiredness)
-Trouble sleeping

Remember that not everyone experiences all these side effects. It is essential to discuss with your healthcare provider any concerning symptoms you might have while taking either medication.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Atripla?

Atripla, like any medication, can have serious side effects in some individuals. These include:

  • Signs of a new infection: fever, night sweats, swollen glands, mouth sores or ulcers
  • Liver problems: nausea or upper stomach pain; loss of appetite; dark urine; clay-colored stools; jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Pancreatitis symptoms: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back and accompanied by nausea and vomiting
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior including suicidal thoughts
  • Severe skin reaction such as fever, sore throat swelling in your face or tongue burning sensation on the skin with red/purple rashes that spread and cause blistering & peeling.

Truvada may also cause similar reactions but additionally has been associated with kidney problems - little to no urination; painful/difficult urination; swelling feet/ankles feeling tiredness/shortness of breath. People may also experience bone-related issues such as bone pain/discomfort fractures due to brittle bones. If you experience any adverse effects from either drug contact your healthcare professional immediately.

What are the most common side effects for Truvada?

The use of Truvada may lead to certain side effects including:

  • Mild stomach discomfort or fullness
  • Nausea, vomiting, occasional mild diarrhea
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
  • Skin rash
  • Changes in body fat distribution
  • Decreased bone mineral density leading to joint pain over time.

Moreover, it's important to note that while these side effects might be common, they're usually relatively mild and manageable. However, some people on Truvada can also experience more serious side effects like kidney problems or lactic acidosis. Always consult with your healthcare professional for any changes during medication.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Truvada?

Although Truvada is often well-tolerated, it can occasionally cause serious side effects. Symptoms that may warrant immediate medical attention include:

  • Allergic reactions such as rash, hives, or itching; fever and swelling in your face or throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
  • Dark urine and light-colored bowel movements
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting spells
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Changes in mood including depression and anxiety.

If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Truvada, contact a healthcare professional right away.

Contraindications for Atripla and Truvada?

Both Atripla and Truvada, like other antiretroviral medications, may cause side effects which can worsen existing health conditions in some people. If you notice any severe or unusual symptoms such as excessive fatigue, nausea, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), dark-colored urine or pale stools after starting these medications, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Atripla nor Truvada should be taken if you are taking certain types of hepatitis B medication due to the risk of severe interactions. Always inform your physician about all medications you're currently on; specific drugs will require a period to clear from your system before it's safe to start treatment with either Atripla or Truvada.

It's also crucial not to discontinue use abruptly without consulting a healthcare professional since this could lead to HIV resistance against these drugs. Remember that while both medicines help manage HIV infection by reducing viral load and increasing CD4 cell count, they do not cure HIV/AIDS and precautions must still be practiced to avoid transmission.

How much do Atripla and Truvada cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 tablets of Atripla (600 mg/200 mg/300 mg) averages around $3,000 which works out to approximately $100/day.
  • The price for a monthly supply of Truvada (200mg/300mg), is about $2,000, working out to roughly $66.67/day.

This would suggest that if you take one tablet per day as recommended by most physicians for both medications, Truvada tends to be less expensive on a daily basis than Atripla. However, cost should not be the primary factor in deciding which medication is best suited for you; this decision should primarily depend on your health condition and how well each drug can manage your symptoms or prevent illness.

Regarding generic versions:

  • Generic versions of Atripla are available with prices varying widely based on location and insurance coverage but tend to be significantly cheaper than their branded counterparts.
  • Likewise, generic alternatives for Truvada were approved by FDA recently and will introduce more affordable options though still potentially costly due to its relatively recent introduction into the market.

As always discuss with your healthcare provider before making any changes in medication selection or dosage.

Popularity of Atripla and Truvada

Atripla, a combination medication containing efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 147 thousand people in the US in 2020. Atripla accounted for just over 3% of antiretroviral prescriptions in the US. Even though it's not classified as one of the most common types of HIV medications today due its side effects profile (CNS-related), Atripla has been generally increasing in prevalence since its approval by FDA.

On the other hand, Truvada consisting of emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate is used both for HIV treatment when combined with at least one other anti-HIV medication and also as a preventive measure known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) amongst high-risk populations who might be exposed to HIV. In 2020, it was prescribed to approximately 270 thousand people in USA for treatment purposes while around 205 thousand were on PrEP regimen with Truvada. Overall use seems steady over recent years yet an expected shift towards newer version Tenofovir alafenamide-containing regimens is anticipated.


Both Atripla and Truvada have a long-standing history of usage in patients with HIV, backed by substantial clinical research indicating their effectiveness above placebo treatments. They are both antiretroviral medications but they contain different combinations of drugs. Atripla is a combination of three medications: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). On the other hand, Truvada contains only two - emtricitabine and TDF.

The choice between these two largely depends on individual patient circumstances. Atripla is typically used as part of an initial treatment regimen for HIV infection in adults whereas Truvada can be used not only for treating HIV in people who already have it but also as a preventative measure for those at high risk.

Both medications come in generic forms which offer significant cost savings particularly to uninsured or underinsured patients. It's important to note that starting antiretroviral therapy might require some adjustment period before noticeable effects take place.

The side effect profiles differ between the two; common side effects with Atripla include dizziness, nausea, and difficulty sleeping while with Truvada kidney problems and reduction in bone density could occur. In either case, patients should closely monitor their health status especially when initiating treatment. Regular check-ups are crucial to ensure effective control over the viral load without causing unwanted complications.