How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Tenofovir alafenamide belongs to the family of medications called antivirals. It is used by adults to treat chronic (long-lasting) infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus. It prevents the enzymes needed for the hepatitis B virus to reproduce from working properly. Tenofovir may help lower the amount of hepatitis B virus in the body by decreasing the ability of the virus to multiply and infect new liver cells.
Tenofovir does not prevent hepatitis B from being spread to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each yellow, round, film-coated tablet, debossed with "GSI" on one side and "25" on the other side, contains 25 mg of tenofovir alafenamide (equivalent to 28 mg of tenofovir alafenamide hemifumarate). Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; film coating: iron oxide yellow, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of tenofovir alafenamide is 1 tablet taken by mouth, once daily. It may be taken with food or on an empty stomach. This medication works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
If you vomit within 1 hour of taking this medication, take another tablet. If it is more than one hour after taking the medication, do not take another dose. Continue with your regular dosing schedule.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, and it is less than 18 hours since the missed dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is less than 6 hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication in its original container at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to tenofovir alafenamide or any ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of lactic acidosis (e.g., nausea, vomiting, increased breathing rate, abdominal pain, unusual tiredness, dizziness, rapid heart rate)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Hepatitis B and HIV Co-Infections: The safety and effectiveness of taking tenofovir alafenamide to treat hepatitis B if you have also have HIV infection has not been determined. If you are taking tenofovir alafenamide for hepatitis B infection and an existing HIV infection is not being treated effectively, tenofovir alafenamide may increase the chance that your HIV infection will not respond to usual treatment. Therefore, it is important to be tested for HIV before starting treatment with tenofovir alafenamide and whenever there is a risk of HIV exposure during treatment.
Lactic acidosis and fatty liver: This medication can cause a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis (build up of lactic acid), together with an enlarged fatty liver. Your doctor will periodically monitor you and perform laboratory tests to check your liver function. If you notice any symptoms of this condition such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, weakness, tiredness, feeling cold, dizziness, light-headedness, or irregular heartbeat, seek immediate medical attention.
Liver function: Decreased liver function or liver disease may cause tenofovir alafenamide to build up in the body, causing side effects. Tenofovir alafenamide should not be used if you have decreased or worsening liver function. Report any signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools) to your doctor.
Other Medications for Hepatitis B: There are several combination medications available to treat HIV infection and hepatitis B infection. Many of these medications include tenofovir alafenamide or tenofovir disoproxil. They may also include ingredients that work the same way as the ingredients in this medication. Taking tenofovir alafenamide along with these other medications may be dangerous and may cause fatal drug interactions. With your doctor or pharmacist, review the ingredients of any medication that may be prescribed and compare it to the medications you are currently taking.
Stopping the medication: When used to treat chronic hepatitis B, stopping tenofovir alafenamide has been known to cause symptoms of liver inflammation to flare up and your hepatitis B infection could get worse. Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and do not stop taking the medication without checking with your doctor first. If you and your doctor decide that you should stop taking tenofovir alafenamide, you will need to have regular blood tests to check liver function and hepatitis B virus levels.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if tenofovir alafenamide passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between tenofovir alafenimide and any of the following:
- aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g., amikacin, gentamicin, tobramycin)
- HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs; e.g., delaviridine, efavirenz, etravirine, nevirapine)
- HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)
- other HIV nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs; e.g., abacavir, didanosine, lamivudine, zidovudine)
- HIV integrase inhibitors (e.g., dolutegravir, elvitegravir)
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs; e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- St. John's wort
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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