How Does Truvada Work? 

By  //  April 28, 2021

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Truvada uses emtricitabine and tenofovir to block HIV reverse transcriptase from replicating in the body.

In 2012, the FDA approved Truvada as the first drug for preventing HIV infection. Truvada prevents HIV-negative people from contracting the virus after exposure to the virus through sex.

Also called Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), Truvada is a way to prevent HIV. You can take the drug before contracting the virus to reduce your risk of infection. Truvada stops HIV from taking a foothold in the body.

Truvada is an oral pill to be taken once a day. Emtricitabine stops reverse transcriptase from creating new copies of HIV RNA. With that, the medication reduces the volume of HIV in the body, boosting the patient’s immune system. Tenofovir also stops the enzyme reverse transcriptase from duplicating.

Truvada or PrEP is not a cure for HIV, nor does it prevent other STIs. But the medication has shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection through sex in:

Bisexual men and gay men

■ Transgender women

■ People who take drugs by injection

■ Heterosexual men and women.

In a recent study in gay men, it was found that those who took Truvada daily were 44% less likely to get infected with HIV. However, many don’t trust that figure because some trial participants failed to take the drugs as recommended. Of course, that itself may be the reason for the frequent cases of Truvada lawsuit compensations.

This study showed men who were infected failed to take the drug at all or not as prescribed. Hence, the correct use of Truvada reduces the risk of HIV infection by 92 – 99 percent.

Is Truvada for PrEP Safe to Take?

Since 2012, Truvada is among the most effective drugs for HIV management. However, the drug is not without a few side effects. A few scientists have refuted the claim that Truvada has severe side effects. Like every medication out there, Truvada is best taken with the recommendation and supervision of a licensed health practitioner. Remember, Truvada may not always work; so, it’s best to use a condom during sex.

What Are the Adverse Effects of Truvada? 

In most cases, the side effects disappeared after they discontinued the drug or after the first month of use. According to the iPrEx trial, common Truvada side effects include:

■ Headaches – About 5% of people who took Truvada during the trial reported headaches.

■ Nausea – In the first month of receiving the drug, 9% of the users experienced nausea.

■ Weight loss – 2.2% of trial members who took Truvada reported cases of weight loss.

■ Issues of increase in serum creatinine – Truvada has been linked with high levels of serum creatinine, which causes kidney failure.

■ Osteopenia – Truvada also affects bone mineral density. This condition causes bone fractures if left untreated.

■ Osteomalacia – A condition that bone cells decay faster than they are forming new ones.

Failure to Warn Users

Most Truvada lawsuits stem from the fact that Gilead did not warn physicians and patients of the drug’s severe side effects. Many Truvada lawsuit plaintiffs claimed the drug was more toxic in the recommended doses. 

However, Gilead stood its ground that Truvada was safe and risk-free. In 2002 and 2003, the FDA sanctioned Gilead for its claims that Truvada does not jeopardize a patient’s bone density. Unfortunately, the marketing of Truvada as a safe drug continues despite growing scientific evidence of its risks.


As consumers, we expect the drug we take to be safe. Hence, any patient who experiences injuries or bone mass loss from the use of Truvada can seek judicial redress. If you suffer severe kidney issues due to Truvada, you have the right to file a lawsuit.

More so, family members of those who lost their lives after taking Truvada can seek compensation. However, speak with your lawyers to know what your state’s laws say about which family member is qualified to file the lawsuit.

About the author:

Timothy Walton

Timothy Walton is a law school graduate and a freelance blogger with a knack for self-sufficiency. He also has three successful home business ideas under his belt. Currently, Timothy is working as a collaborative editor for Ben Crump Law Firm. In his free time, when he is not strolling outside his lake house in rural Georgia with his two Labs, Rex and Lucilla, he is either trying his hand at writing a novel or daydreaming about his next nomadic adventure.