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AIDS and HIV Information

AIDS and HIV Information

Triumeq vs Truvada: What is the Difference?

Triumeq vs Truvada: What is the Difference?


Triumeq and Truvada are both FDA-approved for the treatment of HIV-infection in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older. But unlike Triumeq, Truvada can’t be used on its own because the drugs it contains are inadequate for a successful HIV suppression. However, it can be used as preventative treatment or PrEP for people who are at high risk of being infected. HIV-positive individuals can still take Truvada by taking additional meds such as Tivicay (dolutegravir). Triumeq and Truvada (together with other antiretroviral agents) are included in the preferred regimens of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Triumeq (dolutegravir/abacavir/lamivudine)

Triumeq is a complete, fixed dose anti-HIV regimen, which contains a combination of three active substances, DTG–ABC–3TC, that help reduce the amount of virus in the body. HIV proliferates in the immune system by attacking the immune cells (CD4 T0-cells) and creating multiple copies of itself. While there is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, taking antiretroviral medicines like Triumeq helps people live longer, healthier lives. Abacavir and lamivudine belong to a group of drugs called “nukes” or NRTI (nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors), while dolutegravir is an integrase inhibitor. There are six treatments from the DHHS list of recommended regimens, and five of them consist of integrase inhibitors or INSTI. Triumeq is an effective and safe antiretroviral regimen that does not contain a booster, so there are fewer drug interactions.

Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)

Truvada is often used together with Descovy, Tivicay, or Isentress to successfully manage HIV-1 infection. It is also used as a preventative and post-exposure treatment for high-risk people. Because preventative vaccine has not been developed for HIV or AIDS, Truvada is an important component of HIV prevention arsenal. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV-negative persons that meet the following criteria:

  • Someone with an ongoing sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner;
  • A heterosexual person who does not always use condoms during sexual activity with partners known to be at risk for HIV, and is not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a recently tested HIV-negative partner.
  • Someone who has injected illicit drugs, shared needles, and other equipment in the past six months or has been in a rehabilitation program for injection drug use.

Triumeq vs Truvada: Side by side comparison

 

TRIUMEQ
(dolutegravir/abacavir/lamivudine)

 

TRUVADA
(emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)

Approval Date

August 22, 2014

August 2, 2004

Indications

HIV-infected adults and children 12 years of age and older, weighing at least 40 kilograms

  • Can be used as treatment for HIV-infected individuals from the age of 12 and above but only when combined with other antiretroviral drugs
  • Preventative treatment for high-risk patients.

 

Half-Life

14 hours

25.7 hours

Dosage

Oral tablet containing 600mg dolutegravir, 50mg abacavir, and 300mg lamivudine

Oral tablet containing 200mg emtricitabine, and 300mg tenofovir

Advantages

  • Included in the recommended list of HIV treatment regimens
  • Can be taken with or without food
  • More convenient than other regimens as it contains three drugs in one tablet
  • Included in the recommended list of HIV treatment regimens
  • Can be used as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis
  • Not affected by food intake
  • Not linked with major, lasting kidney problems

Disadvantages

  • May increase your risk of heart attack, especially if you are a smoker, have hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol
  • Not recommended for people with severe liver and kidney impairment
  • May cause allergic reactions; testing is required prior to starting treatment
  • Not recommended for those with severe kidney problems
  • May weaken bones
  • May worsen concomitant hepatitis B infection upon stopping treatment
  • You are still required to practice safe sex while using Truvada as PrEP
  • Must be combined with other antiretroviral drug to treat HIV

Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sinusitis
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Flu or bronchitis
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Common cold

Risk Factors

  • Obesity
  • Worsening of Hepatitis B or C infection
  • Liver problems
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Enlarged fatty liver
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Fat redistribution
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
  • Heart attack
  • Dyslipidemia

 

  • Obesity
  • Liver problems
  • Worsening hepatitis B infection
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Enlarged fatty liver
  • History of kidney impairment
  • Bone loss or osteoporosis
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
  • Drug resistance

 

Cost

Starts at $2,700 for a 30-tablet bottle

Starts at $1,600 for a 30-tablet bottle

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