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Descovy (emtricitabine + tenofovir alafenamide)


Generic name: emtricitabine (also known as FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)

Brand names: Descovy

Class: Combined NRTI (nukes) tablets


Common: Nausea.

Rare: Lactic acidosis, serious liver problems (the first two side effects are most likely in very overweight women or those who have been taking Descovy or similar medicines for a long time), worsening of hepatitis B when stopping Descovy (see Notes), body fat redistribution, immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), renal impairment, decrease in bone mineral density, mineralisation defects.


Tablet comprises 200mg emtricitabine plus 25mg or 10mg tenofovir alafenamide (TAF).

Taken once per day.


Descovy is licensed for use once per day with at least one other antiretroviral.

When taken with ritonavir or cobicistat-boosted atazanavir, lopinavir or darunavir (protease inhibitors), the tablet containing 10mg of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is recommended.

Special monitoring may be needed in patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis B as Descovy is not licenced to treat the latter. If you're taking Descovy and then stop, it could cause your hepatitis B to worsen.

Descovy is not recommended in patients with severe renal impairment.

Take with or without food.

*Last reviewed on 2/12/2016 Next review: 2/12/2019

Any questions? Email feedback@tht.org.uk Information included on this website was correct at the time of publication.

Data and image supplied by NAM.

Further information on this drug from NAM