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Drug Information

What is Tenofovir used for?

Tenofovir is used for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. It is also used as an adjuvant in the treatment of HIV infection.

Tenofovir may also be prescribed for other conditions as determined by the doctor.

How does Tenofovir work?

Tenofovir belongs to the class of drugs called as the anti-retroviral agents. This drug acts by blocking the reverse transcriptase enzyme of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Thus, it helps in inhibiting the growth and spread of the virus.

How to take Tenofovir?

The dosage and the drug form depend on the age, weight and medical condition of an individual. Take Tenofovir as prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew the tablet. Take the drug with or without food. However, taking the drug with food prevents stomach upset.

If you miss a dose of Tenofovir, please take it immediately once you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

What are the drugs that interact with Tenofovir?

Drugs that interact with Tenofovir include the following:

  • Amikacin
  • Atropine
  • Ibuprofen
  • Lithium
  • Misoprostol
  • Naproxen
  • Scopolamine
  • Sulindac
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tobramycin

This is not a comprehensive list of drug interactions. Consult your doctor to know more about other possible drug interactions.

What are the side effects of Tenofovir?

The following are the most common side effects of Tenofovir:

  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Lack of strength
  • Weight loss
  • Cough
  • Fever

The following are the severe side effects and you may require immediate medical attention:

  • Redness of skin
  • Tightness in chest
  • Trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.

What special precautions should be followed while taking Tenofovir?

  • Avoid using the medicine if you are allergic to Tenofovir or similar drugs.
  • Consult the doctor before taking any other drug along with Tenofovir.
  • Do not stop using the medication abruptly unless instructed by the doctor. Stopping the medication suddenly may cause the illness to return.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children.

You are advised not to take Tenofovir if

  • it has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
  • the foil or packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering or there is discolouration.

What should you tell your doctor before taking Tenofovir?

  • Tell your doctor if you have any history of bone problems, liver problems and kidney problems.
  • Inform the doctor if you are taking any other drugs, OTC medications, herbal products or nutritional supplements.
  • Notify your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions about Tenofovir

  1. Do I need to be monitored for any laboratory parameters while taking Tenofovir?
  2. Yes, it is advised to monitor liver function, bone density, kidney function, viral load and T-cell count while taking Tenofovir.

  3. What are the contraindications of Tenofovir?
  4. Tenofovir is contraindicated in patients with enlarged fatty liver, acute renal failure and decreased bone density.

  5. Can I drink alcohol while taking Tenofovir?
  6. It is not recommended to consume alcohol while on Tenofovir as it may affect the absorption of the drug.

  7. How should Tenofovir be stored?
  8. Tenofovir must be stored at room temperature (15 – 30OC), away from sunlight.


The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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