Descovy® is a daily pill for PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis). You should take one dose every day.
How Often Do I Take Descovy?
Take one Descovy tablet at the same time every day, whether or not you think you’ve been exposed to HIV. You can take the pill with or without food.
When taking Descovy, always follow your health care provider’s instructions. There are two ways to take Descovy as part of a complete treatment:
- Single-Pill Treatment: Descovy can be combined with other medications in a single pill so you only have to take one tablet per day.
- Multi-Pill Treatment: You have to take one Descovy tablet per day plus other pills as prescribed by your health care provider.
What Happens if I Forget to Take a Descovy Pill?
If you forget to take your daily dose, take the tablet you missed as soon as you remember. Take the next dose at the normal time.
But if you don’t realize that you missed a dose until it’s time to take your daily pill, skip the tablet you missed. Never take two Descovy doses at the same time.
What Should I Do if I Take Too Much Descovy?
If you take more than one dose of Descovy at a time, contact your health care provider immediately. If your health care provider isn’t available, call your poison control center or go to the emergency room for assistance right away.
Can I Change My Descovy Dose?
Don’t stop taking Descovy or change the amount you take without speaking to your doctor first. Always talk with your health care provider before changing your dosage.
Monitor your Descovy supply carefully to make sure you don’t run out. Ask your doctor for a prescription refill when your supply starts to get low.
Should I Combine Descovy With Other Medications?
By itself, Descovy is not a complete PrEP treatment. You must take it with other medications prescribed by your health care provider. For a complete treatment, you can either take a single pill that includes Descovy and other medications or a combination of one Descovy tablet and other pills as prescribed.
You may be able to take Descovy alongside other unrelated medications, too. Ask your health care if your other prescription or over-the-counter medications are safe to take with Descovy.
How Should I Store Descovy?
Store Descovy at normal room temperature, which is between 68 and 77 degrees. Always keep this medication in its original container with the lid closed tightly. Keep it stored safely out of the reach of children. Never remove the drying agent from the container, as it’s designed to prevent moisture from building up and affecting the medication.
If your Descovy pills expire, do not take them. Throw them away safely.
What Should I Tell My Doctor Before Taking Descovy?
Before you start taking Descovy, talk with your health care provider about the following:
- Allergies: If you have allergies, inform your doctor before taking any new medications. Tell your Nurx™ medical provider if you have had allergic reactions to emtricitabine or tenofoviralafenamide, the two HIV medications in Descovy.
- Recent Illnesses: Tell your Nurx health care provider about any colds, viruses, or flu-like conditions you’ve experienced in the last 30 days. Discuss recent symptoms like diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headaches, muscle aches, or vomiting, because they can be early indicators of an HIV infection.
- HIV Concerns: If you think you have an HIV infection or if you may have been exposed to HIV, talk with your health care provider. Your doctor may recommend additional testing before starting PrEP treatment.
- Health Conditions: Discuss any other ongoing health conditions you have with your health care provider, including kidney issues or liver problems like hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Before starting treatment with Descovy, you have to be tested for HBV.
- Medications: Show your Nurx health care provider a list of the medications you take. Include both prescription and over-the-counter medications, especially if you take hormone-based birth control. Ask your doctor whether it’s safe to take Descovy while taking your other medications, and request more information about taking birth control and PrEP medications simultaneously.
- Supplements: Give your Nurx health care provider a list of the supplements and vitamins you take or you are thinking about taking. Ask whether the natural and herbal supplements you take can cause side effects when combined with Descovy.
- Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, tell your Nurx health care provider. It isn’t known if taking Descovy can cause side effects that could harm your unborn baby, so you should understand the potential risks. If you become pregnant while taking Descovy, tell your doctor right away.
- Breastfeeding: If you breastfeed or plan to nurse while taking Descovy, have a conversation with your Nurx health care provider. You shouldn’t nurse, as breastmilk can pass HIV-1 to your baby.
Do I Have to Do Anything Before Starting Descovy?
Before you take Descovy for PrEP, get tested for HIV. You should confirm that you’re HIV negative first so your PrEP treatment can effectively reduce the risk of getting an HIV infection.
Tell your Nurx health care provider if you think you were exposed to HIV before or during your PrEP treatment. While you’re taking Descovy, get tested for HIV every three months.
Can Descovy Cause Side Effects?
As with alll PrEP treatments, Descovy can cause serious side effects, but most are rare. While taking this medication, you should watch for the following side effects:
- Nausea: This is the most common side effect of Descovy. Talk with your health care provider if you regularly experience nausea or if it doesn’t go away.
- Deteriorating HBV Infection: Stopping Descovy can cause an HBV infection to worsen. If you have HBV, talk with your health care provider about testing and treatment.
- Immune System Issues: If you develop new symptoms after starting Descovy treatment, talk with your doctor.
- Kidney Problems: Talk with your health care provider about routine blood and urine tests to make sure your kidneys are working normally.
- Liver Problems: Tell your doctor immediately if the whites of your eyes turn yellow, if you have dark urine or light stools, or if you lose your appetite for a few days.
- Lactic Acid Buildup: Although rare, this can lead to a serious medical emergency. Talk with your health care provider if you feel fatigued, lightheaded, or short of breath.