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Emtricitabine/Tenofovir (Generic Truvada) PrEP Treatment

Please note: Brand received may vary

PrEP is a HIV preventative drug which contains the active ingredients tenovofir and emtricitabine, two antiretroviral drugs that stop HIV from taking hold of the cells and causing problems with the immune system.

People who are at risk of contracting HIV are able to take Truvada and be protected against the virus. PrEP has been proven to be over 90% effective at preventing sexually-transmitted HIV, and around 70% effective at preventing HIV that would otherwise be transmitted through injecting drugs.

Truvada should only be taken by people who don’t have HIV, despite the fact that similar drugs are also used to treat those who are HIV positive. However, PrEP isn’t a substitute for post-exposure prophylaxis. Truvada only protects against HIV, and is even more effective when used with condoms.

PrEP PIL

Last PIL Review Date: 14/06/2019

Please note: Brand received may vary. This item will expiry in November 2019.

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£ 49.99 InStock
In stock
SKU
Generic Truvada
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  • liver conditions
  • kidney conditions
  • immunodeficiency conditions (e.g. HIV) nervous system abnormalities
  • any serious medical condition which may require immediate hospitalisation
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  • Thrush
  • unintentional weight loss
  • chest pain
  • blood in your urine
  • pain when urinating
  • blood in your stools
  • urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • night sweats
  • fever
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  • liver conditions
  • kidney conditions
  • heart disease 'Long QT' interval (an electrical anomaly of the heart that can lead to heart rhythm disturbances sometimes caused by other medicines you might be on)
  • acute Porphyria (a rare hereditary blood disease)
  • any serious medical conditions which may require immediate hospitalisation
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  • Aminoglycosides (for bacterial infection)
  • Amphotericin B (for fungal infection)
  • Foscarnet (for viral infection)
  • Ganciclovir (for viral infection)
  • Pentamidine (for infections)
  • Vancomycin (for bacterial infection)
  • Interleukin-2 (to treat cancer)
  • Cidofovir (for viral infection)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, to relieve bone or muscle pains) 
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Note: You must not be HIV positive for this treatment as it is a preventative medication. 

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You are at risk if you have partner(s) known to have HIV-1, or you engage in sexual activity within a high prevalence area or social network and one or more of the following:

  • Inconsistent or no condom use,
  • Diagnosis of HIV-1
  • Exchange of sex for commodities (such as money, shelter, food, or drugs),
  • Sexualised drug use,
  • Alcohol dependence, 
  • Incarceration.
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If you need to take a test please either visit your GP or sexual health clinic.

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  • You’re HIV negative and have had condomless sex in the past 3 months and think you will again in the next three months, and you are: cis or transgender MSM or transgender woman.
  • You’re HIV negative and expect to have sex without condoms with an HIV positive partner/s with a detectable viral load.
  • You don’t meet the first two descriptions and you might be having heterosexual sex, but you’ve been clinically assessed as being at a similar high risk of becoming HIV positive.
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This would usually be the case in patients suffering from problems with their kidneys. If you are unsure please visit your GP to carry out a blood test before ordering. 

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  • You will read the Patient Information Leaflet supplied with your medication
  • You will contact us and inform your GP of your medication if you experience any side effects of treatment, if you start new medication, or if your medical conditions change during treatment
  • The treatment is solely for your own use
  • You are over the age of 18 and you have entered your own information for our identity verification checks
  • You have answered all the above questions accurately and truthfully
  • You understand our doctors take your answers in good faith and base their prescribing decisions accordingly, and that incorrect information can be hazardous to your health
  • You will inform your own GP of this purchase if appropriate
  • You are happy for your consultation to be reviewed by a European doctor company, and as such it is not subject to CQC Registration or inspection in England. (Please note all of our medicines are dispensed from a fully licensed and regulated UK Pharmacy).
  • You have read our privacy policy, cookie policy, patient agreement, data sharing agreement and Terms & Conditions
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Please note: Brand received may vary

PrEP is a HIV preventative drug which contains the active ingredients tenovofir and emtricitabine, two antiretroviral drugs that stop HIV from taking hold of the cells and causing problems with the immune system.

People who are at risk of contracting HIV are able to take Truvada and be protected against the virus. PrEP has been proven to be over 90% effective at preventing sexually-transmitted HIV, and around 70% effective at preventing HIV that would otherwise be transmitted through injecting drugs.

Truvada should only be taken by people who don’t have HIV, despite the fact that similar drugs are also used to treat those who are HIV positive. However, PrEP isn’t a substitute for post-exposure prophylaxis. Truvada only protects against HIV, and is even more effective when used with condoms.

PrEP PIL

Last PIL Review Date: 14/06/2019

Please note: Brand received may vary. This item will expiry in November 2019.

Details

What is PrEP?

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s used to prevent HIV in people that are at risk of contracting it. It contains the ingredients tenovofir and emtricitabine which are also used to treat people that have already been diagnosed with HIV, but in different quantities. PrEP can’t treat HIV, only prevent it.

If a person at high risk of HIV takes PrEP daily, they are around 90% less likely to contract the virus. You may be at risk of HIV if you have multiple sexual partners of unknown or positive HIV status and don’t always use barrier methods.

How does PrEP work?

To understand how PrEP works in the body, we need to look at how HIV is contracted. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, and is often transmitted via sexual intercourse. HIV can also be passed on through blood, hence why injecting drug users are also at risk of infection.

If a person contracts HIV, they usually notice flu-like symptoms around 2 weeks after infection, and these can last for several weeks. Over time, HIV weakens the immune system and makes it harder for affected people to fight off infections, and if the condition goes untreated for a long time, it may even turn into AIDS; something which can be live threatening.

In people that don’t use PrEP, HIV enters the cells in the body and starts to wreak havoc on the immune system. However, PrEP contains tenovofir and emtricitabine, both antiretroviral drugs which stop the virus from affecting your healthy cells and taking hold. This means that someone with a HIV-negative status would likely remain clear even when having sex with someone of HIV-positive status.

We recommend using condoms alongside this medication, especially if you know that your partner has HIV or AIDS, but PrEP can potentially save the lives of sexually active men and women who are unaware of their partners’ STI status.

Can PrEP cure HIV?

Unfortunately, not. There’s currently no cure for HIV but PrEP can go a long way towards preventing the spread of the infection. If you’ve already been diagnosed with HIV, please speak to your doctor or visit your nearest sexual health clinic for advice on what you can do.

If you’re unsure whether you have HIV or not, you should get tested as soon as possible.

You can do this at the following places:

  • GP surgeries
  • Sexual health clinics
  • GUM clinics
  • Charities such as the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)
  • Private clinics
  • Online (by ordering a home testing kit)

If your result comes back positive, you’ll be able to take post-exposure prophylaxis which can lower the amount of the virus in your system, often to an undetectable level.

How do you take PrEP?

There are several ways to take PrEP, and whichever method you choose depends on your lifestyle and whatever suits you.

One of the most common ways of taking PrEP is by taking one pill daily. This is suitable for those that frequently have sex, or would rather take the medication as part of their daily routine. The advantage of using PrEP daily is that you’re more likely to be protected against HIV even if you forget one day. This method is suitable for both anal and vaginal sex.

Using PrEP "on demand"

Another way of taking PrEP is by taking it “on demand”. This means that you only take the drug when you plan to have sex. Current guidelines from the THT state that if you’re taking PrEP on demand, you should:

  • take 2 pills 2 – 24 hours before sex
  • take 1 pill 24 hours later
  • take 1 more pill 24 hours after that

Taking PrEP on demand is only recommended for anal sex.

One of the lesser known methods of taking PrEP include taking one pill, 4 times a week. This is only suitable for anal sex, and is recommended if you only have sex a couple of times a month. People taking PrEP this way usually take a pill on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Finally, you might choose to use PrEP if you’re planning a holiday, or know that there’s going to be a likelihood of unprotected sex within a certain timeframe. This is normally taken 7 days before you expect to be engaging in condomless sex, every day during this time, and then for 7 days after this period. This ensures that there's enough of the medicine in your system to protect you from HIV during this temporary period.

How can I access PrEP in the UK?

The ease of access to PrEP varies depending on where you live.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can access the medication for free on the NHS. You can visit any sexual health clinic and have a chat with a nurse who’ll be able to prescribe it to you if they think you’re at risk of contracting HIV.

If you live in Wales, you can also get the drug from a sexual health clinic, as they’re currently doing an uncapped pilot. You won’t need to pay for the medication.

However, if you live in England, things get a little bit trickier. PrEP isn’t currently available through NHS England unless you’ve been accepted into the impact trial. Although places have been doubled, you must fit certain criteria to be accepted onto the program. Your only other option for accessing the vital medication is to buy it online. Unfortunately, this can be a risky business due to counterfeit and dangerous pills being sold to people, masquerading as PrEP. Doctor4U is proud to be a genuine supplier of PrEP, and we can guarantee safety and confidentiality. Whilst you do have to pay for a private prescription, the Terrence Higgins Trust have introduced the Mags Portman PrEP Access Fund. This provides voucher codes to those who need PrEP but can’t access it on the NHS and are unable to afford a private prescription themselves. You can apply for this through their website, and if accepted, you’ll receive a text with a voucher code for you to access three months’ worth of PrEP.

What are the side effects of PrEP?

Most people don’t really experience any side effects when taking PrEP, but some that have been reported are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Joint pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Strange dreams
  • Back pain
  • Itching
  • Rash

If you’re concerned about any of the above side effects, or experience any of these symptoms whilst taking Truvada, please talk to your GP. It might help to think about whether the benefits of the medicine outweigh the risks and side effects before thinking about stopping treatment.

Does Truvada protect you straight away?

No. Clinical trials have shown that PrEP takes between 4-7 days to reach its full potential in your system, so it’s a good idea to use barrier methods until then to make sure you’re protected against HIV.

Dosage instructions
Take ONE tablet daily as preventative for HIV risk. This should not be used as a substitute for safe sex practice. Should be used in conjunction with barrier methods