Descovy is a combination antiretroviral that treats Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections among adults and children. The medicine is administered for treating HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). It is taken orally once daily, with or without food.

This medication is a mixture of two HIV antiretroviral medications: Emtricitabine and Tenofovir Alafenamide. They are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) that enter the genetic material, which prevents the virus cells from making copies of themselves and spreading in your body.

Precautions and Warnings with Descovy

The HIV can pass to your baby in your breast milk. The doctor should be informed of your pregnancy or pregnancy to prevent HIV cells from spreading in a newborn baby.

All medications should be used to control the infection in your body during pregnancy.

You should consult with a doctor or pharmacist about other options if you feel you have the above-mentioned medical issues. Your physician may stop or adjust the dosage of the medicine.

There are serious risks associated with Descovy for patients with the following conditions:

  • Worsening hepatitis B infection
  • Severe kidney and liver problems
  • Undetected HIV infection
  • Overactive immune system
  • Lactic Acidosis
  • Active infection or certain infections
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Flu-like symptoms

Descovy Side Effects

You should seek medical attention immediately if you show the above-mentioned symptoms. Your doctor or physician will diagnose the cause and treat it accordingly.

Common Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling depressed
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems (Insomnia and strange dreams)
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash

Serious Side Effects

  • Prickly feeling
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen glands
  • Cold sores
  • Cough
  • Night sweats
  • Wheezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking,
  • Problems with balance or eye movement,
  • Weakness
  • Prickly feeling
  • Menstrual changes
  • Impotence
  • Liver problems (rare)
  • Blood infection
  • Swollen glands

Drug Interactions with Descovy

The interactions change how your Discovy works or increase the chances of side effects. Prepare a list of medicines you are taking and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

You should not start, stop, or adjust the dosage of the medications without your doctor’s approval.

The medicines known to interact with Descovy are:

Cost of Descovy in America

The average retail cost of Descovy is at $2,465 per month for a 30-day supply. You can get discounts through coupons or patient help programs developed by the manufacturer.

Why is Descovy so Expensive?

Descovy is expensive because there is no generic version of the medicine. The brand medicine is expensive as compared to its generic counterpart.

The cost of Descovy is covered by most commercial health insurance or plans, particularly if prescribed for HIV treatment.

Strengths and Dosages of Descovy

Descovy is taken orally once per day with or without food. If you are on dialysis, the dose may be taken after the session.

The doctor will determine the dosage according to the patient’s weight. It may change if you gain or lose weight. It can be adjusted to an alternate version. Medication errors can be avoided by following the treatment plan of the doctor or following the directions on the label.

You should avoid changing their dose, and you should skip or stop using medicine without your doctor’s advice. You should inform the doctor or physician about the treatment process.

The medicine does not protect you from HIV infection. Therefore, you must practice and test yourself for the virus at least once in three months ahead of prophylaxis.

You can develop Hepatitis B if you stop using Descovy. A doctor could conduct several tests before starting the course.

Descovy Alternatives

You should be cautious when using alternatives of Descovy. It is important for you to consult with your doctor or physician before starting the course. Your healthcare provider can guide you according to your needs and interactions with the medicine.

You should be aware of the risks associated with the use of alternative medicines and ensure that the medicine from a trusted brand minimizes the risks of side effects. Communicate with your physician and update them on the lifestyle changes that you may experience because of that medication.

Keep in mind that alternative replacement should be considered a complement, not a replacement of the conventional treatment plan. A holistic approach to the treatment plan gives the best results.

Your doctor can exchange Descovy with the following medicines:

Descovy FAQs

What is Descovy used for?

Descovy is a medicine that treats HIV-1 infection with other antiretroviral medications in patients who are 12 years or older. The medicine comes with two active ingredients: Emtricitabine and tenofoviralafenamide. These ingredients work together to control the infection and stop the HIV virus from replicating in the body.

Why is Descovy not for females?

Descovy is not prescribed for female patients due to safety and efficacy concerns during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The clinical trials were primarily done on men, and caution was recommended when administering them to women. Doctors and physicians should understand the potential risks and benefits while recommending alternative treatment plans for pregnant and breastfeeding women who are suffering from HIV-1 infection.

How does Descovy work?

Descovy combines potent antiretroviral drugs: Emtricitabine and Tenofovir Alafenamide that collaborate to prevent the replication of the HIV-1 virus within the body. They control the infection as the former reverses transcriptase, the enzyme responsible for viral replication, whereas the latter stops HIV ability from affecting the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA).

How long does it take for Descovy to work?

Descovy takes about 21 days of daily use to reach maximum protection for those engaging in vaginal sex and a week for patients that perform anal sex. The medicine is found to be effective at preventing HIV infection from sex, whereas the success rate of reducing the risk of getting HIV through PrEP pills is 74%.

How long do Descovy side effects last?

The common side effects of Descovy are temporary and last a few days or weeks after taking the medication. However, certain side effects – such as weight gain or sleep problems – may reach their peak after a few months.

Who makes Descovy?

Descovy is manufactured by a California-based pharmaceutical company called Gilead Sciences Incorporation.

How do I take Descovy?

Descovy is taken once a day orally with or without food. However, your doctor or physician may change the dose while tailoring your treatment plan.

How long does Descovy stay in your system after stopping?

Descovy remains active in your body for 16 days after your last dose, but the risk of becoming infected by HIV again returns to normal after stopping the medicine.

What if I miss a dose of Descovy?

You must take it as soon as you remember. You can skip the missed dose if it’s close to the time of the next dose. The next dose should be taken at the regular time instead of double dose to catch up.

What if I take too much Descovy?

You will be monitored for evidence of toxicity in case of Descovy. The treatment includes assessing vital signs along with observation of your clinical status. You should contact emergency services if you are losing consciousness or respiratory problems.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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