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This product is used to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life. This product contains 4 different medications: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. Elvitegravir is known as an integrase inhibitor. Cobicistat helps elvitegravir work better. Emtricitabine is called a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, while tenofovir is called a nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor; they are often called NRTIs.
Elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir is not a cure for HIV infection. To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, do all of the following: (1) continue to take all HIV medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor, (2) always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity, and (3) do not share personal items (such as needles/syringes, toothbrushes, and razors) that may have contacted blood or other body fluids. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.
It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses.
If you take antacids, take the antacids at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after this medication.
This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Doing so may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
Diarrhea, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, back pain, or change in the color of skin on your palms or soles of your feet may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
As your immune system gets stronger, it can begin to fight off infections you already had, possibly causing disease symptoms to come back. You could also have symptoms if your immune system becomes overactive. This reaction may happen at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Get medical help right away if you have any serious symptoms, including: unexplained weight loss, severe tiredness, muscle aches/weakness that doesn't go away, headaches that are severe or don't go away, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, vision changes, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores), signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter), signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre syndrome (such as trouble breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, trouble speaking).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine, pink/bloody urine).
Rarely, this medication can cause severe (sometimes fatal) liver and blood problems (lactic acidosis). Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine) or lactic acidosis (such as deep/rapid breathing, drowsiness, nausea/vomiting, unusual weakness). These serious side effects may be more likely if you are female or very overweight (obese).
Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor, as well as the possible use of exercise to reduce this side effect.
Tenofovir may increase the risk of bone loss. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor, as well as the possible use of calcium and vitamin D to reduce this side effect. If you are at risk for bone loss, your doctor may monitor your bone mineral density. Tell your doctor right away if any of the following serious side effects occur: bone pain, easily broken bones.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, or tenofovir; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: pancreatitis, liver problems (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cirrhosis), alcohol use, bone problems (such as bone disease, bone loss/osteoporosis, weak/broken bones), kidney disease.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Treatment can lower the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby, and this medication may be part of that treatment. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if elvitegravir or cobicistat pass into breast milk. Emtricitabine and tenofovir pass into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
See also How To Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: adefovir, orlistat, other drugs that may affect the kidneys (including acyclovir, cidofovir, ganciclovir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, aminoglycosides such as amikacin/gentamicin).
Do not take this medication with other HIV medications (such as ritonavir). Do not take this medication with other products that contain cobicistat, elvitegravir, emtricitabine, lamivudine, or tenofovir.
This medication can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include dronedarone, eletriptan, eplerenone, ergot alkaloids (such as ergotamine, dihydroergotamine), salmeterol, tolvaptan, rivaroxaban, certain alpha blockers (such as alfuzosin, tamsulosin), certain benzodiazepines (such as midazolam, triazolam), certain statins (such as lovastatin, simvastatin), certain drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as avanafil, sildenafil), among others.
Other medications can affect the removal of this medication from your body, which may affect how this medication works. Examples include boceprevir, rifamycins (such as rifabutin, rifampin), St. John's wort, certain drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone), among others.
This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. This medication may also increase the risk of some hormonal birth control side effects. Talk to your doctor about other reliable forms of birth control, and always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity to decrease the risk of spreading HIV to others. Tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your hormonal birth control is not working well.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney tests, liver tests, test for hepatitis B virus, viral load, T-cell counts, blood mineral levels, bone density tests, urine glucose/protein) should be performed before you start treatment, and periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Selected from the Licensed Solutions data included with permission and copyrighted by FDB, inc., 2014. This copyrighted material has been downloaded and Licensed data provider and is not for distribution in professional healthcare settings. This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking any drug or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.