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Common Reactions to Emtricitabine

Common Side Effects of Emtricitabine

Clinical studies have not evaluated emtricitabine by itself for the treatment of HIV, as emtricitabine is meant to be used in combination with other HIV medications. In fact, the available information on emtricitabine side effects involves studies that used emtricitabine in combination with several other HIV medications. Therefore, it is difficult to know if these side effects are due to emtricitabine or the other HIV medications. Based on these studies, the most common side effects of emtricitabine (plus two to four other HIV medications) included:
  • Dizziness -- in up to 25 percent of people
  • Diarrhea -- up to 23 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 22 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 18 percent
  • A runny or stuffy nose -- up to 18 percent
  • Weakness -- up to 16 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 16 percent
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- up to 14 percent
  • Coughing -- up to 14 percent
  • Abnormal dreams -- up to 11 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 3 to 10 percent of people) included:
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Nerve problems, such as unusual sensations (like numbness, burning, or tingling)
  • Infections (such as the common cold or sinus infections)
  • Drowsiness.

Final Thoughts on Side Effects of Emtricitabine

It is possible that you may experience some or none of the emtricitabine side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell whether any particular side effect (such as nausea) is actually caused by emtricitabine or other factors. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking emtricitabine or if something "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect of emtricitabine, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.

Emtricitabine -- HIV Drug Information

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