Biktarvy : Uses and Side effects

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Lara Mokhtar, MD Written by - Dr. Shilpa R


What is Biktarvy ?

The prescription medication Biktarvy is to treat HIV infection among adults and children weighing at least 31 pounds (14 kilograms) and who meet specific standards, as decided by a health care professional. This approval was granted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States.2Overview| Researched based study from

Because it is an all-in-one HIV treatment, the Biktarvy regimen should not be combined with any other HIV medications. Bictegravir, tenofovir alafenamide, and emtricitabine are the three medications that are included in the formulation of Biktarvy.

The prescription medication Biktarvy is to treat HIV infection among adults and children weighing at least 31 pounds (14 kilograms) and who meet specific standards, as decided by a health care professional.

How does Biktarvy work?

Biktarvy has three active chemicals that combat HIV in a variety of methods, and they are as follows:

  • Bictegravir inhibits the activity of an enzyme known as integrase, which is required for the HIV virus to produce new copies of itself inside the body1Overview| Researched based study from
  • Emtricitabine inhibits the action of reverse transcriptase, which is an enzyme of the virus that enables it to reproduce itself.
  • Tenofovir alafenamide also inhibits reverse transcriptase activity.


What are the uses of Biktarvy?

  • Management of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
  • Reducing risk of Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

In HIV infection Management

  • In adults and children who have not been administered with antiretroviral therapy before or who have been regular on other antiretroviral treatment(s), the combination of bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir AF is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This treatment is only recommended for patients who have not been administered antiretroviral treatment previously.3Uses| Researched based study from

Reducing the chances of getting AIDS

  • Although emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir AF will not treat HIV, it is possible that taking these medications can reduce your risk of getting AIDS and other HIV-related diseases, such as severe infections or cancer.3Uses| Researched based study from


  • Taking these medications, in addition to engaging in safer sexual behavior and making other adjustments to one’s lifestyle, may lower one’s likelihood of contracting the HIV virus or passing it on to other people.

Side effects

What Side effects could Biktarvy cause?

Side effects are possible with the combination of emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir AF. Inform your physician if any of the following symptoms persist for an extended period of time or are particularly severe:3Side effects| Researched based study from

Severe side effects

Call your physician right once or go to the nearest hospital emergency room if you develop any of the following symptoms 4Side effects| Researched based study from

  • Reduced frequency of urination
  • Weariness due to swelling of the foot and ankles
  • Symptoms such as rapid breathing, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat
  • Discomfort in the stomach accompanied by nausea and vomiting
  • The hue of the hands and feet is cool or blue, and urine is dark yellow or brown
  • Bowel movements that are pale in color
  • A yellowing of the eyes or the skin
  • Lack of hunger and appetite
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Symptoms of vertigo or lightheadedness

Other adverse effects may be brought on by the combination of emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir AF. Please consult your primary care physician if you have any odd side effects while using this medicine:

The HBV infection becomes more severe

  • If you have an HBV infection and are taking Biktarvy, stopping taking Biktarvy could cause your HBV infection to become more severe (known as a flare­up).
  • Do not discontinue taking Biktarvy before consulting with your medical examiner or other physicians. If you stop consuming Biktarvy, your healthcare provider will need to monitor your health more closely and perform blood tests on a regular basis for a number of months to determine whether or not you have an HBV infection.

IRIS or Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome

  • When you start taking HIV medicine, you run the risk of experiencing a side effect called IRIS. There is a possibility that your immune system will improve and start to battle illnesses that have been dormant in your body for a considerable amount of time. Because of this, an inflammatory reaction may occur, which in turn may call for additional examination and treatment.

Problems with the kidneys, including renal failure

  • Before beginning treatment with Biktarvy and periodically while you are receiving it, your healthcare professional should perform kidney function tests on you using blood and urine samples. During therapy with Biktarvy, if you develop new or worse kidney problems, your healthcare professional may tell you to stop taking Biktarvy.

Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis)

  • Despite its rarity, lactic acidosis is a potentially fatal condition that requires immediate medical attention.


Who should not be administered Biktarvy?

If you know or suspect that you have an allergy to emtricitabine, bictegravir, tenofovir AF, or any of the other ingredients in Biktarvy, you should not use this medication4Contraindications| Researched based study from

One who is getting treatment for tuberculosis

  • Biktarvy may increase the risk of significant adverse effects for individuals who consume these medications: Rifampin, a medication used to treat tuberculosis (TB), and Dofetilide, a medication for the heart

People with Kidney or Liver diseases

  • People who have kidney illness or liver disease that ranges from moderate to severe should not take Biktarvy.


What dosage of Biktarvy should I use?

Biktarvy is available in the form of tablets, with two different dosage strengths:

  • 25 mg tenofovir alafenamide, 50 mg bictegravir, 200 mg emtricitabine
  • 15 g tenofovir alafenamide, 30 mg bictegravir, 120 mg emtricitabine

Dosage instructions

  • Take Biktarvy exactly as directed by your primary care physician or other healthcare professionals.
  • You should not skip doses, alter your dosage, or stop taking the medication without first talking to your medical examiner.2Dosage| Researched based study from
  • Take one capsule of Biktarvy once daily, either with or without food. If you are already taking any other medications or supplements, such as antacids, laxatives, or other products containing aluminum or magnesium; buffered medications; iron; or calcium, make sure to carefully follow the directions on how to take these other medications along with Biktarvy.
  • If you are undergoing dialysis, you should wait until after your treatment to consume the recommended amount of Biktarvy.
  • If a child is unable to swallow an entire tablet, the tablet can be broken in half and each half should be swallowed separately within about ten minutes.
  • It is not safe to use Biktarvy with any other HIV medication.


What specific precautions should you consider when using Biktarvy?

  • Tell your medical examiner and pharmacist if you are sensitive to emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir, any other medications, or any of the components in emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir AF tablets.
  • Special precaution is crucial if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Inquire with your pharmacist about obtaining a list of the components.
  • Before beginning treatment with bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir AF, you should ensure that you have consulted with your doctor and pharmacist about any medicines that you are currently consuming or that you intend to use.
  • Please consult your physician or pharmacist before beginning, stopping, or altering the use of any other medications while you are taking emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir AF. This is particularly essential if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and St. John’s Wort are examples of over-the-counter and herbal treatments that could potentially interact with emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir AF.
  • Before beginning treatment with emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir AF, you should make certain to inform both your physician and your pharmacist about the other medications you are currently taking.
  • If you are going to be taking an antacid that contains calcium, magnesium, or aluminum (such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or others) or sucralfate (Carafate), then you should take emtricitabine, tenofovir AF, and bictegravir on an empty stomach two hours before you take the antacid or the sucralfate.
  • Food should be consumed at the same time that bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir AF are taken. If you are taking an iron or calcium supplement, it should be taken at the same time.
  • Inform your physician if you currently have or have previously had any of the conditions listed in the section labeled “IMPORTANT WARNING,” as well as if you have any type of infection that does not go away or that comes and goes, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), tuberculosis (TB), or renal disease.
  • Call your medical examiner if you realize that you are pregnant while taking bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. If you are HIV positive or are currently using the antiretroviral drugs bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir, you should not breastfeed your child.3Precautions| Researched based study from
  • You should know when you are consuming medications for HIV infection therapy, your immunity may get stronger and begin to resist other infections that were previously present in your body or cause other illnesses to occur. This is something you should be aware of while you are taking these meds. Because of this, it is possible that you will develop symptoms of the illnesses or conditions in question.


Takeaway Tips

  • Biktarvy is an antiviral medication that is used to treat people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). HIV-1 is the virus that is responsible for the development of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which affects both adults and children.
  • Biktarvy includes the pharmaceutical ingredients emtricitabine, bictegravir, and tenofovir alafenamide as its active ingredients. Only patients in which the virus has not evolved resistance to integrase inhibitors, which are a class of HIV medications, or to emtricitabine or tenofovir are candidates for treatment with this medication.
  • Biktarvy has the potential to create severe adverse effects that could even be fatal. These include lactic acidosis, which is an accumulation of lactic acid in the blood, difficulties with the liver, newly developing or worsening kidney issues, including kidney failure, and interactions between medications.
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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