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What Are the Side Effects of Truvada?

The side effects commonly associated with Truvada include headache, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Most people taking Truvada for PrEP report few to no side effects, and most symptoms go away relatively quickly.

What is Truvada?

Truvada for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a daily pill that can help prevent HIV.  If you take Truvada as directed, you’ll have a 92-99% chance of remaining HIV-negative.

Common Side Effects

When people first start taking Truvada, they might experience minor side effects. Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Weight loss.
  • Nausea.
  • Flu-like symptoms.

Some people don’t have any side effects when they start taking this prescription. However, those who do experience side effects usually find that the symptoms go away within the first month.

Serious Side Effects

As with any medication, there is a small risk for certain serious side effects when you take Truvada, including:

  • Lactic acidosis (buildup of lactic acid in the blood).
  • Liver problems.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Changes to the immune system.
  • Bone pain or loss of bone density.

Keep in mind that most Truvada users do not experience these side effects. However, if you have any troubling symptoms while taking Truvada, contact your medical provider.

Missed Pill Side Effects

New Truvada users might be concerned about side effects when they forget to take their daily pill. Missing a dose will not affect your level of protection against HIV significantly or cause major side effects. Take your missed dose as soon as you remember, then continue with the daily schedule. Don’t double dose, which can cause side effects such as nausea.

If you’ve missed multiple pills in a row or have trouble remembering to take a Truvada pill every day, contact your medical provider for advice.

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