A Project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
Fact Sheets can be downloaded from the Internet at http://www.aidsinfonet.org
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Fact Sheet Number 420
Emtricitabine (Emtriva®) is a drug used
for antiretroviral therapy (ART). It is
manufactured by Gilead Sciences.
Emtricitabine is also known as FTC.
Emtricitabine is also active against
Emtricitabine is a nucleoside analog
reverse transcriptase inhibitor, or nuke.
These drugs block
transcriptase enzyme. This enzyme
changes HIV’s genetic material (RNA)
into the form of DNA. This has to occur
before HIV’s genetic code gets inserted
into an infected cell’s own genetic
WHO SHOULD TAKE
Emtricitabine was approved in 2003 as
an antiretroviral drug (ARV) for people
with HIV infection. It has not been
carefully studied in the elderly. In 2005
the FDA approved a liquid version for
use in children over 3 months old.
There are no absolute rules about when
to start antiretroviral treatment (ART).
You and your health care provider
should consider your CD4 cell count,
your viral load, any symptoms you are
having, and your attitude about taking
ART. Fact Sheet 404 has more
information about guidelines for the use
If you take Emtricitabine with other
ARVs, you can reduce your viral load to
extremely low levels, and increase your
CD4 cell counts. This should mean
staying healthier longer.
Emtricitabine was approved for use by
people 3 months old or older.
Emtricitabine has not been approved to
fight hepatitis B. Some people with HIV
had their hepatitis B get worse after
they stopped taking emtricitabine. Get
tested for hepatitis B before you start
taking emtricitabine to treat HIV. If you
have hepatitis B and stop
emtricitabine, your health care provider
should carefully monitor your