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Tenofovir (By mouth)

Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (ten-OF-oh-vir dye-soe-PROX-il FUE-ma-rate)

Treats HIV infection and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HIV causes AIDS. This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs may slow the progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to tenofovir.

How to Use This Medicine:

Powder, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Tenofovir is used with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines that your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without first checking with your doctor. If you stop the medicine even briefly, the virus may become harder to treat. Contact your doctor or pharmacist when your supply is running low so you do not run out.
  • Oral powder: Measure the oral powder with the dosing scoop that comes with the package. Mix the oral powder with 2 to 4 ounces of soft food (including applesauce, baby food, yogurt). Swallow this mixture right away. It is less likely to have a bitter taste if you take it as soon as it is mixed. Do not mix the oral powder with a liquid. The powder will not mix correctly and will float on top. Do not store the scoop inside the package with the powder.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not use this medicine if the seal on the bottle is broken or missing. Keep the bottle tightly closed. Keep the medicine in its original bottle.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how tenofovir works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Acyclovir, adefovir, atazanavir, bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide, cidofovir, darunavir, didanosine, ganciclovir, ledipasvir/sofosbuvir, lopinavir/ritonavir, sofosbuvir/velpatasvir, sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir
    • Aminoglycoside antibiotic (including gentamicin)
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (including aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or bone problems (including osteoporosis).
  • Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Worsening of hepatitis B infection, when treatment is stopped
    • New or worsening kidney problems
    • Lower bone mineral density
    • Lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood)
    • Liver problems
  • Your immune system may get stronger when you start using this medicine. This could cause a hidden infection in your body to become active. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health.
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to others. Always practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles or other items that may have blood or body fluids on them.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bone, muscle, or joint pain
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Fast or troubled breathing, lightheadedness, severe weakness, confusion

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Anxiety, depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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