Toggle navigation
Toggle search

Emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir (By mouth)

Emtricitabine (em-trye-SYE-ta-been), Rilpivirine Hydrochloride (ril-pi-VIR-een hye-droe-KLOR-ide), Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (ten-OF-oh-vir dye-soe-PROX-il FUE-ma-rate)

Treats HIV infection. This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it 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 emtricitabine, rilpivirine, or tenofovir.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. Try not to miss any doses.
  • Always take this medicine with food.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without checking first 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 low so you do not run out.
  • 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 missed dose as soon as you remember. If your next dose is due within 12 hours, skip the missed dose and take your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in the original bottle at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep the bottle tightly closed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Do not use this medicine if you are also using St John's wort, dexamethasone, a seizure medicine (including carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin), medicine to treat tuberculosis (including rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine), or stomach medicine (including dexlansoprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole).
  • Many other drugs can interact with emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • If you take antacids that contain aluminum, magnesium, or calcium, take the antacid at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after you take this medicine.
  • If you take a stomach medicine for heartburn or ulcers (including cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine), take the heartburn medicine at least 12 hours before or 4 hours after you take this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you have kidney problems, liver disease (including hepatitis B or C), bone problems (including osteoporosis), or a history of depression.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Lactic acidosis
    • Severe liver problems
    • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which can damage organs such as the liver, kidney, or heart
    • Kidney problems
    • Depression, unusual thoughts or behavior
    • Increased risk of broken bones
  • Your immune system may get stronger when you take HIV medicines. 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.
  • Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
  • 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
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fast breathing, trouble breathing, lightheadedness, severe weakness, tiredness, or confusion
  • Feeling sad or depressed, anxious, or restless, unusual thoughts or behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Fever, skin rash, or swollen glands in your armpits, neck, or groin

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

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.

We are physicians, hospitals and communities working together to help you live better.