What is Biktarvy?
Biktarvy is the brand name of the combination of three drugs (Bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide). It contains Bictegravir 50mg, emtricitabine 200mg, tenofovir alafenamide 25mg per tablet. Doctors prescribe Biktarvy to treat Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). It is mostly available in the oral form. One can avail of this medication only with a proper prescription from a doctor.
- Biktarvy is not a permanent cure for HIV/AIDS.
- You must visit your doctor regularly and take a proper body checkup to avoid unwanted medicines effects.
- Please don’t stop taking Biktarvy without consulting your doctor; otherwise, you may face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
- Please avoid medical errors.
- It will be best if you take frequent blood tests while you are on this medication.
- You may need routine liver function tests (LFT) while you are on this medication.
What to know before taking Biktarvy?
You should avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to it or any of its components or if you have taken:
- Anti-viral medicines containing emtricitabine or tenofovir
To ensure that Biktarvy is safe for you, you should tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following medical issues:
- Liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis B
- Kidney disease
Lactating mothers and expecting women should consult their doctors before using Biktarvy.
How to take Biktarvy?
Take Biktarvy precisely as prescribed by the doctor. You must follow all the directions given on the prescription label and medication guide carefully. Please don’t take it more than recommended and try to be consistent throughout the treatment. Consult your doctor if you are not feeling any improvement in the condition or getting worse.
Keep the medication out of children’s reach and store it at room temperature away from heat and moisture. After completion of treatment, ask your pharmacist regarding the disposal of leftover medicines.
The dosage of Biktarvy prescribed by the doctor is dependent on several factors, such as :
- The age and weight
- The seriousness of the condition
- Another medical problem that the patient is having
- Other medications that the patient is using
- How the patient reacted to the first dose of the medication
The doctor may prescribe you the dosage of Biktarvy according to the patient’s different medical conditions.
Dosage for Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/ADIS)
- For adults (above 18 years of age)
One table of Biktarvy once a day.
- For children (below 18 years and weight more than 25 kg)
One table of Biktarvy once a day.
- For children (below 18 years of age and weight less than 25 kg)
Doctors should not recommend Biktarvy for patients below 18 years of age and less than 25 kg.
There are no specific Biktarvy overdose symptoms, but if you ever feel uneasy after taking this medication, you can consult your doctor and ask for medical help. You can seek medical assistance by calling the poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid while using Biktarvy?
Follow your doctor’s advice regarding the restriction of the particular food item, activities, and beverage.
Biktarvy side effects
Some of the common side effect symptoms of using Biktarvy are as follows:
- Signs of new infections such as fever, night sweating, swollen glands, cold sore, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, unusual weight loss
- Trouble in speaking
- Trouble in swallowing
- A problem in eye movement
- Imbalance of the body
- Feeling weakness or prickliness
- Swelling in throat or neck
- Menstrual changes
- Problem in intimacy
It is obvious to experience mild side effect symptoms, but if these symptoms bother you so much and are unbearable, you should consult your doctor and ask for medical help. You can stop taking medication and tell your doctor if you face the following problems while taking Biktarvy:
- Kidney disease like a problem in urination, swelling in ankle and feet, tiredness, shortness of breath
- Lactic acidosis- pain in muscles, weakness in muscles, severe fatigue or weakness, numbness, feeling cold, trouble in breathing, pain in the stomach, nausea or vomiting, irregular heart rate, dizziness
- Liver disease such as swelling around your midsection, upper stomach pain, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice, etc
You should also report to your doctor from time to time if you experience any new symptoms or your symptoms are getting even worse.
What drugs can interact with Biktarvy?
If your doctor is treating you with Biktarvy, he must be knowing all the possible interactions with other medications. It will be best to tell your doctor about all the over-the-counter medicines you take or taken in the past few days. Some of the following medications which can interact with Biktarvy are:
- Herbal products
- Anti-viral drugs containing emtricitabine or tenofovir
- Vitamins and other nutritional supplements