Truvada has been an important drug in the fight against HIV for over a decade, but recent studies show it may be connected to life-threatening injured liver problems. Here’s what Truvada patients need to know.
What is Truvada?
Truvada (generic name: Emtricitabine-Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate or “TDF”) is a pill taken orally that combines two medicines into one pill to combat HIV (“human immunodeficiency virus”). Initially, Truvada was considered a wonder drug and an important weapon in the fight against HIV. However, studies have shown that some of the side effects of Truvada, while rare, may be serious and even life-threatening.
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What is Truvada used for?
Truvada has two uses. In 2004, Truvada was introduced as a drug to treat HIV positive patients controlling the infection so the immune system can function better. For these patients, Truvada is taken in connection with other HIV medications.
A decade later in 2012, the FDA approved the use of Truvada for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Patients who take PrEP Truvada do not have HIV and are attempting to limit their risk of infection.
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What does Truvada do to your body?
The two active ingredients in Truvada are part of the class of HIV drugs that block an HIV enzyme. Because Truvada blocks this enzyme, in combination these active ingredients can reduce the amount of HIV in the body and prevent it from increasing. When a person who is not HIV positive takes Truvada for PReP, having the drugs in their system can prevent the infection from starting and multiplying throughout the body.
Once these drugs are in a person’s body, it is very important that users not stop immediately or skip a dose as this can allow HIV to multiply. Common short-term side effects Truvada include:
- Decreased weight
- Fat redistribution around the upper back and trunk
- Abdominal pain
Does Truvada cause liver damage?
Although rare, Truvada does warn users of more serious side effects, including:
- A buildup of lactic acid in the blood
- Bone problems including pain and softening that can lead to fractures
- Kidney problems
- Severe liver problems
Of all these side effects, Truvada liver damage has been the most prevalent focus of recent research. What was once hailed as a wonder drug in the fight against HIV has many people wondering “Does PrEP damage your liver?” It’s a question without a clear answer, yet. Because Truvada isn’t absorbed into the system as well as other HIV drugs, patients have to take a higher dose.
Truvada Case Studies
Recent studies have shown that while rare among Truvada users, there is an increased amount of liver cancer and end stage liver disease in patients taking the drug. Although only a small percentage of patients in the study were diagnosed with these conditions, disturbingly over half of the patients who were diagnosed died within three months.
A separate study found that Truvada could also be linked to liver inflammation. Scientists have hypothesized that the active ingredients in Truvada may injure the parts of the liver cells that produce energy, leading to liver problems.
Although these studies are alarming, the FDA has not pulled Truvada from US markets. However, many scientists are in agreement that more research is needed into Truvada and its long-term effects. Truvada patients should seek immediate medical attention if they begin to show any injured liver symptoms including:
- eyes or skin turning yellow
- dark colored urine or light colored stools
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite for multiple days
Has Truvada affected you or someone you love?
Those who suffered liver or other problems after taking Truvada should contact us for a free case evaluation. We work on a contingency-fee basis. If you or a loved one has experienced complications after taking Truvada, you may be eligible to file a claim for medical costs, emotional distress and further damages. Fill out our free case evaluation form to see if you are eligible for a potential Truvada lawsuit. An experienced attorney at Morris Bart will assist you in the evaluation process. Initial consultations are free. Click here to see more about our office locations throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Call us at 1-800-537-8185 today.