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Emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy®)


What is Descovy®?

Descovy® is a tablet that contains 2 medicines used to treat infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The 2 medications are called emtricitabine (Emtriva®), and tenofovir alafenamide. Emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide belong to a group called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Descovy can slow down how soon you will see symptoms of HIV or slow the damage caused by HIV, but it cannot cure HIV infection. Descovy tablets contain 200 mg of emtricitabine, and 25 mg of tenofovir alafenamide.

How to take Descovy®

  • This tablet is usually taken one (1) time daily.
  • Descovy can be taken with or without food. Taking this medicine right after you have eaten a meal may help prevent upset stomach.

Possible side effects of Descovy®

  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll- free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

  • During the first few weeks of therapy, some people taking Descovy develop a skin rash and 2 or more of the following symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Severe tired feeling, achiness, or other “flu-like” symptoms
  • Sore throat, shortness of breath, or cough

If you develop a rash during the first few weeks of therapy and you have 2 or more of these symptoms, stop taking Descovy right away and call your St. Jude doctor or nurse. You should not take Descovy again unless the doctor tells you to do so.

Special instructions for Descovy®

  • Store this medicine in a cool, dry place at room temperature and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Keep the lid closed tightly and away from heat and moisture.
  • Some side effects, such as low blood counts, can be found with blood tests. It is important that you come to the clinic at regularly planned times and have blood tests done.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).