What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Truvada?

Truvada is a prescription medication adults and adolescents can take. It is intended for those at risk of contracting HIV, and its goal is to help lower the chances of people contracting HIV through sexual activity. 

Unfortunately, like many prescription and over-the-counter medications, Truvada has potential side effects, and some of them last for the long term, such as kidney and liver problems and bone density loss. If you are taking or are considering taking Truvada, consider the following information about some of the long-term side effects of the prescription medication.

Truvada Side Effects: What You Should Know

Before beginning taking Truvada, one of the most important things to know about the prescription medication is that it can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. For example, these side effects may include problems in the liver and/or kidneys, among other medical concerns. 

When it comes to Truvada’s side effects, before taking the drug, you should know that it is important to share your medical history with your healthcare provider. For example, your healthcare provider should know if you are:

  • Pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Taking any medications
  • Having health problems

Being informed is one of the most important things to do before preparing to take a new medication. See more information on what you should know about Truvada’s side effects. 

How Long Do Truvada Side Effects Last?

The side effects of Truvada can last for varying lengths of time, depending on the specific side effect. 

What Are the Likely Side Effects of Taking Truvada?

Everyone’s body is different. Just as with any prescription medication or even over-the-counter medication, everyone’s body can react differently to Truvada. While some people may experience serious or enduring side effects, other people may take Truvada without experiencing any side effects at all or very little. 

According to clinical studies conducted for Truvada for PrEP, as Truvada notes on its website, those who took the drug experienced some common side effects. Note that common side effects are those that at least 2% of the participants experience.

The study’s results also revealed that:

  • 7% of participants had a headache
  • 4% of participants suffered abdominal pain
  • 3% of participants experienced weight loss

Can Truvada Cause Hair Loss?

Some people who take Truvada or are considering taking Truvada have concerns that hair loss may be one of the prescription drug’s side effects. 

According to a Phase IV clinical study of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data, there appears to be only a small correlation between the use of Truvada and hair loss. Of the ​​51,286 participants who reported side effects while using Truvada, only 96 participants or 0.19% of them reported hair loss as a side effect. 

Does Truvada Cause Diabetes?

Diabetes is another side effect Truvada users and those considering the medication are concerned about. However, there are also studies that indicate diabetes is not a probable side effect of Truvada. 

According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), in which several HIV medicines were surveyed for their potential side effects, Truvada was not identified as one that led to diabetes. 

Truvada Side Effects

Truvada is an antiretroviral drug produced by Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead) It contains tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). According to the health journal AIDS, TDF has been linked to a number of different side effects, ranging in severity from serious, long-term side effects like kidney problems, liver problems, and bone density problems to more mild, short-term side effects like headaches, weight loss, and stomach pain. 

It’s important to remember that, as with any prescription or even over-the-counter medication, you may experience some side effects while using Truvada. It’s always recommended to talk with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have while taking Truvada or considering taking Truvada. 

Kidney Problems

While the FDA deems Truvada as safe for use, side effect risks remain, including those that are serious, long-term, and life-threatening. One potential side effect is kidney problems or kidney failure. 

Signs of a kidney problem can include:

  • Bone pain
  • Pain in arms, hands, legs, and/or feet
  • Broken bones
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness

If you experience any of the above symptoms while taking Truvada, be sure to contact your healthcare provider. 

Bone Density Loss

Those taking Truvada or those considering taking Truvada may also have concerns about the potential of bone density loss as a result of taking the prescription medication. 

Bone density loss is, indeed, a potential side effect of Truvada. This can lead to bone pain and/or softening of the bones, which can, in turn, potentially cause fracturing of the bone.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there is “a slight loss in bone mineral density associated with HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).” Remember that Truvada is a form of PrEP, an HIV prevention strategy.

The study claims: ” … bone mineral density decreased a measurable but clinically insignificant amount over the course of a year …”

Serious Side Effects May Also Include:

When it comes to taking Truvada, possible side effects can vary in severity. For example, some participants may experience lighter, more manageable symptoms, such as nausea or occasional dizziness. 

On the other hand, there are people who take or have taken Truvada for HIV prevention that have experienced more serious side effects. For example, some users have experienced liver problems. Some signs of liver problems include: 

  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Yellowing of the white of eyes
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored stool
  • Decreased appetite for several days or more
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or aching on the right side of the stomach
  • Itching

If you experience any of the above symptoms while taking Truvada, be sure to contact your healthcare provider. 

Immune Reconstitution

In addition to potential problems with the liver, other serious side effects may occur with Truvada use. This includes immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). This condition can occur when the immune system is recovering from the use of an HIV medicine, such as Truvada. 

Essentially, it is a change in the immune system. When your immune system gets stronger, it is possible that a hidden infection will cause it to overreact, thus causing symptoms. 

Lactic Acidosis

In addition to potential problems with the liver and the immune system, another potentially serious side effect of Truvada that users and potential users of the prescription medication should be aware of is lactic acidosis. 

Lactic acidosis is a blood condition in which one suffers an excessive increase of lactic acid in the bloodstream. While this condition is very rare, it is also very serious. In some circumstances, it can even lead to death. 

If you are concerned about suffering lactic acidosis as a potential side effect of Truvada, keep an eye out for the following symptoms, which can be signs of lactic acidosis: 

  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold or blue hands and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Abnormal heartbeat 

If you experience any of the above symptoms while taking Truvada, be sure to contact your healthcare provider. 

Long-Term Side Effects of Truvada Use

Remember that Truvada is a prescription medication that is prescribed to help lower the chances of people contracting HIV through sexual activity. It can also be prescribed to people who have tested positive for HIV for treatment. 

Truvada includes tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), which can cause a number of mild to serious side effects. Some of these side effects are long-term, and, in some cases, they may even be irreversible. 

According to Clinical Info, because Truvada contains TDF, it may potentially cause the following long-term side effects: 

  • Liver failure
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney failure
  • Kidney problems
  • Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome 
  • Changes to the immune system 
  • Loss of bone density
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomalacia
  • Bone softening
  • Lactic acidosis

These, however, are not all the side effects that Truvada can cause. If you are taking Truvada or are considering taking Truvada, you can learn more about the potential side effects of the prescription drug by reading the drug label, which is available at  DailyMed

Always talk to your healthcare provider for guidance and advice.

Truvada Side Effects That Require Immediate Medical Attention

Because Truvada contains TDF, there is potential for the prescription drug to cause several side effects. Some of these side effects may even be life-threatening and will require users to seek immediate medical attention. 

For example, Truvada can cause hepatitis B (HBV) infections to worsen. If this is the case, however, most healthcare providers do not advise stopping taking Truvada, as this may cause HBV to get worse. For those experiencing this side effect, they should immediately seek medical attention. 

Other serious potential side effects of Truvada that require immediate medical attention include: 

  • Kidney problems: Symptoms include bone pain, arm pain, hand pain, leg pain, feet pain, broken bones, muscle pain, weakness
  • Liver problems: Symptoms include jaundice, dark-colored urine, light-colored stool, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain
  • Bone problems: Symptoms include bone pain, bone softening, bone thinning 
  • Lactic acidosis: Symptoms include weakness or tiredness, muscle pain, shortness of breath, fast breathing, stomach pain, cold or blue hands and feet, feeling dizzy, feeling lightheaded, vomiting, fast breathing

Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

While some side effects of taking Truvada can be very serious and even life-threatening, not all symptoms are as serious. If you are taking Truvada, you may experience side effects for which you may choose to seek medical care but do not normally require immediate medical attention. 

For example, potential side effects of Truvada that do not require immediate medical attention include: 

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss

While these side effects do not normally require immediate medical attention, they may still be a cause of concern for those who are taking Truvada. If you are ever unsure or have questions, remember to contact your healthcare provider for help.

Mild Side Effects of Truvada

Truvada is in the form of a pill that is meant to be taken once a day by adults and/or adolescents at risk of HIV and who weigh at least 77 pounds. Like any medication taken daily, there are risks of potential side effects. 

While some Truvada side effects have the potential to be long-term, serious, and life-threatening, not all side effects are that way. Truvada can also cause mild, short-term side effects, such as headaches, occasional dizziness, occasional nausea, decreased weight, pain in the stomach. 

If you have experienced any negative side effects while taking Truvada, the FDA recommends that you report these side effects by calling 1-800-FDA-1088. You can also report negative side effects by visiting www.FDA.gov/medwatch

Discuss Your Truvada Experience with an Attorney

If you have suffered any form of side effects from taking Truvada, you may wish to speak with a Truvada lawsuit attorney to see if you are legally eligible for any monetary reimbursement from the drug manufacturer or other body. To learn more about whether pursuing a Truvada lawsuit may be the right fit for you or if you can pursue a Truvada lawsuit and how a personal injury lawyer could help you, you can reach out to us today.

If you are experiencing or have experienced any side effects from taking Truvada, we encourage you to contact your healthcare provider immediately so that they can provide you with the right care, advice, and guidance you need. If you are interested in learning more about pursuing a Truvada lawsuit, take advantage of a confidential case review by filling out our contact form.