What Are the Side Effects of Truvada for PrEP®?
Truvada for PrEP® (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a groundbreaking preventive treatment that, when taken every day and combined with safe sex practices, can help reduce the risk of acquiring HIV-1. However, as with most all other medications, there are a few potential side effects.
The most common side effects of Truvada include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Most of these side effects will go away on their own, but you should speak with your healthcare provider if they persist after a few weeks or become bothersome.
Another potential and more serious side effect of Truvada is worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Before receiving a prescription for Truvada, you will be tested for HBV and receive appropriate health monitoring. Because suddenly stopping Truvada while having HBV can be dangerous, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider if you wish to stop taking the pill.
There are potentially life-threatening complications associated with Truvada, although these are rare. Serious side effects include:
- Lactic acidosis, or too much lactic acid in the blood. This uncommon condition requires emergency care. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice unusual weakness, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain, nausea, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, or bluish hands or feet.
- Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Use caution if you have a kidney condition. Your healthcare provider should perform blood and urine tests to monitor kidney health before and during treatment.
- Liver problems that may become severe. Quickly contact your healthcare provider if you become nauseous, lose your appetite for several days, notice yellowing of your skin or eyes, or have dark urine or light-colored stools.
- Bone problems, including pain and an increased risk of fractures. Your healthcare provider may evaluate your bone health before starting treatment.
What About the Benefits?
Truvada grants peace of mind to patients by reducing the chances of acquiring HIV-1 through sex when taken correctly. HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus) is the most transferrable type of HIV, a viral infection that weakens the immune system and may eventually lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Taking Truvada is simple. Just take one pill each day and implement safe sex practices like wearing a latex condom every time you have sex. It’s also important to be tested for HIV-1 at least once every three months while you are taking the pill.
Truvada is Available at Affinity Urgent Care
If you would like to learn more information about the benefits of Truvada and whether or not it is right for you, simply visit Affinity Urgent Care. Our fully equipped locations in La Marque, Galveston, and Alvin, Texas, are open during extended hours every day and led by experienced medical practitioners. Our team can answer any questions you may have, provide you with a prescription for Truvada, and perform all necessary HIV testing and routine lab work. Contact us today! We offer affordable self-pay rates and accept most health insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE.