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Chemical Name: Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate
Viread is an anti-HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medicines called nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Viread prevents HIV from altering the genetic material of healthy T-cells. This prevents the cells from producing new virus and decreases the amount of virus in the body. Viread is a nucleotide analogue, thus it is chemically preactivated, requiring less processing in the body for it to become active. Viread is available in pharmacies as a single drug, which is always combined with other anti-HIV drugs, or in the combination capsules Truvada (Viread and Emtriva) and Atripla (Viread, Emtriva, and Sustiva). Viread is also active against the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the virus responsible for hepatitis B.
The dose is one 300mg pill, taken once a day. Truvada, which contains Viread and Emtriva, needs to be taken once a day. Viread can be taken either with or without food. Viread is not approved for children younger than 18 years of age. Studies have demonstrated that Viread is effective for the treatment of HIV when combined with other anti-HIV drugs, usually at least one other nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and either a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). Viread should not be taken alone or with just one other anti-HIV drug. For HIV-positive adults beginning anti-HIV drug therapy for the first time, Viread is listed as a "preferred" NRTI option – used in combination with Sustiva (efavirenz) and either Epivir (3TC) or Emtriva (emtricitabine) – by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in its treatment guidelines.
Viread is active against many strains of HIV resistant to Retrovir (AZT), Zerit (d4T), Videx/Videx EC (ddI), Hivid (ddC), and Ziagen (abacavir). There is also some data from studies indicating that HIV that has become resistant to Epivir (3TC) may be even more sensitive to Viread. The drug is also active against virus containing the Q151M mutation – a single mutation that results in high-level resistance to multiple nucleoside analogues. Viread may be less active against strains of HIV that contain the K65R mutation in its reverse transcriptase gene. To figure out if your virus has this mutation, your doctor can order a genotypic drug-resistance test.
HIV-positive people must be very careful about using Viread in combination with Videx/Videx EC (ddI). There are two important warnings to know about: The twice-daily Viracept dosing schedule involves taking two 625mg tablets every 12 hours. An alternative option is to take five 250mg tablets every 12 hours. The twice-daily dosing schedule, using the 625mg tablets, is preferred by many healthcare providers, as it involves taking the fewest number of pills the fewest number of times a day. Drug regimens consisting of Sustiva (efavirenz) or Viramune (nevirapine) plus Viread and Videx/Videx EC have been associated with premature drug failure. If you are receiving Viread and Videx EC with either Sustiva or Viramune, you may want to discuss alternative options with your doctor. Viread increases the amount of Videx/Videx EC in the body. This can increase the risk of Videx-related side effects. In turn, if Viread and Videx/Videx EC are used together, Videx EC should be taken at a dose of 250mg once a day (reduced from the usual daily dose of 400mg a day). Because there are now a number of concerns regarding the use of Viread in combination with Videx/Videx EC, many experts recommend avoiding this combination altogether. HIV-positive people should be careful if they use Viread in combination with Reyataz (atazanavir), a protease inhibitor used to treat HIV. Viread can decrease Reyataz levels in the bloodstream and Reyataz can increase Viread levels in the bloodstream. Thus, if you are using Reyataz in combination with Viread, your doctor should also prescribe low doses of Norvir (ritonavir), another protease inhibitor that can significant boost the amount of Reyataz in the bloodstream. The correct dose is 300mg Reyataz plus 100mg Norvir, combined with the standard daily dose of Viread. To make sure that the increased Viread levels do not cause kidney damage (a possible side effect of Viread), blood tests to monitor kidney function should be performed regularly. Levels of lopinavir, one of the two protease inhibitors in Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), can decrease when the drug is combined with Viread. Kaletra can also increase Viread levels in the bloodstream. If Kaletra and Viread are used together, it is important to watch out for potential side effects of Viread (e.g., kidney problems).
Medisave.ca supplies only genuine Viread from Canada shipped using Canadian packaging and genuine Viread from Turkey using Turkish packaging. This Viread is manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc., the worldwide manufacturer of Viread. This offer is neither endorsed nor authorized by Gilead Sciences Inc. (the United States and Canadian distributor of Viread). Medisave.ca has no affiliation whatsoever with Gilead Sciences Inc.
Viread Side Effects:
Lactic acidosis, which can be fatal, and severe liver problems have been reported in people taking nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Contact your doctor immediately if you experience nausea, vomiting, or unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort; weakness and tiredness; shortness of breath; weakness in the arms and legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes; or pain in the upper stomach area. Viread may cause bone problems. In one clinical trial conducted by the manufacturer involving HIV-positive patients who were new to anti-HIV therapy, Viread [combined with Sustiva and Epivir] was more likely to cause decreased bone mineral density (osteopenia) – which can lead to osteoporosis – than Zerit (d4T) [combined with Sustiva and Epivir]. This can increase the risk of bone breakage, including the hip, spine, and wrist. Researchers are currently looking into the seriousness of this possible side effect. If you have a history of bone fracture or are at risk for osteopenia, your doctor may want to consider ordering bone scans on a regular basis while you are taking Viread. While it's not clear if calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help reverse this side effect, it might be a good idea if you have either osteopenia or osteoporosis and are taking Viread.
Viread can be problematic for HIV-positive people who have a history of kidney problems (renal impairment). If you have a history of kidney problems, your doctor will need to order a simple laboratory test to measure your "creatinine clearance" – the rate your kidneys remove this protein produced by muscles from the bloodstream. Depending on the results of this test, your Viread dose may need to be decreased. It is always important to be careful if using Viread in combination with Vistide (cidofovir), Cytovene (ganciclovir), and Valcyte (valganciclovir), three treatments for CMV that can also cause kidney problems.
Anti-HIV drug regimens containing NRTIs, including Viread, can cause increased fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood, abnormal body-shape changes (lipodystrophy; including increased fat around the abdomen, breasts, and back of the neck, as well as decreased fat in the face, arms, and legs), and diabetes. These side effects of anti-HIV drug therapy are reviewed in our lessons on Lipodystrophy, Facial Lipoatrophy, and Risks To Your Heart (Hyperlipidemia). Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence (intestinal gas) are the most likely short-term side effects of Viread.
Viread is classified by the FDA as a pregnancy category B drug. Pregnancy category B means that animal studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus, but there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. HIV-positive women who become pregnant should discuss the benefits and possible side effects of anti-HIV treatment to help protect their babies from HIV. HIV positive women should not breast-feed.
This medicine should be taken with or after food, as food increases the absorption of the medicine into the body.
The HIV virus is very good at becoming resistant to anti-HIV medicines. For this reason it is very important that you carefully follow your doctor's instructions for taking your anti-HIV medicines, in order to maintain effective levels of the medicines in your blood. If the blood levels drop, the virus will be given more chance to replicate and develop resistance to the drugs. Skipping even a few doses increases the risk of treatment failure, so you should try to ensure that you take all your doses at the correct time, and that you visit your doctor for repeat prescriptions before you run out.
Treatment of HIV infection with anti-HIV medicines such as this one does not reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to other people through sexual contact or blood contamination. You should continue to use condoms to prevent transmitting the virus to your sexual partner.
The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
All prices are in US dollars.
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