Tenofovir

How It Works:

Tenofovir is an antiviral drug belonging to class nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Its  structure closely resembles the natural structure of viral DNA, that helps it to incorporateitself into the viral DNA. By doing so, it blocks the activity of an important viral enzyme reverse transcriptase which is involved in the replication of viral DNA, a process essential for survival of the virus.

Side Effects:

myopathy ; kidney problems., low potassium levels, lactic acidosis ; liver problems, increased liver enzymes, pancreatitis ; muscle weakness; increased creatinine levels, urge to vomit, angioedema ; bone pain and fractures, Low blood phosphate level, dizziness; loose motions, vomiting; skin rashes, weakness

Used For:

Tenofovir is used in combination with other antiviral drugs in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. It may also be used in very limited cases of long-term infections of liver caused by hepatitis B virus.

Instructions:

  • Do not take tenofovir if you are already taking medicines that contain tenofovir in combination with other drugs.
  • Do not take tenofovir with other drugs that can potentially damage your kidneys; especially adefovir (used in treatment of hepatitis B).
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms: deep and rapid breathing, drowsiness, urge to vomit (nausea), vomiting, muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, stomach pain, fast or uneven heart rate, or feeling very weak or tired. These might indicate development of a life-threatening side effect of tenofovir called lactic acidosis (excess lactic acid in blood). Lactic acidosis occurs more often in women, particularly if they are very overweight or are taking nucleoside antivirals for a long time.
  • Tenofovir may damage your kidneys (nephrotoxicity). Constant monitoring of kidney function (blood tests to assess the health of kidneys) is advised while on treatment with tenofovir.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you have symptoms: persistent urge of vomit (nausea), upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (abnormal liver function causing yellowing of the skin or eyes). These might indicate development of severe liver damage.
  • Decreases in bone mineral density can happen while taking tenofovir.
  • Do consult your doctor before taking tenofovir if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Do not use tenofovir if you are breast-feeding.
  • Tenofovir may cause lipodystrophy (changes in body fat - build up or loss of body fat) especially in elderly patients with HIV. Physical examination of fat redistribution and monitoring of blood levels of lipids and sugar may be advised in elderly.
  • Discuss with your doctor about necessary precautions (practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes) to be taken to avoid spreading of HIV virus to others.

Frequently Ask Questions:

Q. Is tenofovir safe during pregnancy/ Is tenofovir teratogenic?Studies of tenofovir in animals do not indicate risk to fetus or any signs of teratogenicity. There are no adequate studies on tenofovir use in pregnant women. Tenofovir should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed as advised by your doctor. Please consult your doctor before taking tenofovir if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Q. Is tenofovir a NRTI?Yes. Tenofovir is an antiviral drug belonging to class nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).
Q. What is tenofovir/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate used for/ What does tenofovir treat?Tenofovir is an antiviral drug used in combination with other drugs in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. It may also be used in very limited cases of long-term infections of liver caused by hepatitis B virus.
Q. Is Viraday safe/ effective?Viraday is a trade name for fixed-dose combination of drugs efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. It is safe and effective if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is viraday the same as atripla?Yes. Viraday and atripla are trade names for fixed-dose combination of drugs efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. They are used in the treatment of HIV.
Q. How does tenofovir work?Tenofovir is an antiviral drug belonging to class nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). By the virtue of its structure that closely resembles the natural structure of viral DNA, tenofovir incorporates itself into the viral DNA. By doing so, it blocks the activity of an important viral enzyme reverse transcriptase which is involved in the replication of viral DNA, a process essential for survival of the virus.
Q. Does tenofovir cause hair loss?Hair loss is not a known side effect of tenofovir.
Q. Does tenofovir cause lipodystrophy?Tenofovir may cause lipodystrophy (build up or loss of body fat) especially in elderly patients with HIV. Physical examination of fat redistribution and monitoring of blood levels of lipids and sugar may be advised in elderly.
Q. How does tenofovir cause renal toxicity/renal failure?Tenofovir is predominantly excreted by the kidneys. The part of kidneys involved in its excretion is called the proximal tubule. Studies indicate that tenofovir accumulation in the proximal tubule due to interaction with other drugs (eg. ritonavir) or prolonged use is responsible for kidney damage (renal toxicity). The kidney damage may then progress to kidney failure.
Q. Does tenofovir cure hepatitis B/ Is viraday effective/does viraday work?Yes. Viraday is effective against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and some cases of hepatitis B. It is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
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