Atripla is a combination HIV medication that contains efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). It is part of a group of TDF Lawsuits our law firm is actively taking new cases on.
In 2001, Gilead Sciences, Inc. released a new medication to combat HIV called tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). It was sold under the brand name Viread and quickly became a very popular method of treating HIV and was later used to treat Hepatitis B.
TDF was initially an intravenous medication that didn’t catch much momentum in the community it was intended for. It was later formulated into an oral version and quickly became the go-to for HIV prevention and treatment.
TDF works by blocking the enzyme the causes HIV to multiply in the body. There is no known cure for HIV, and the end-result without treatment is AIDS– which is when the body is unable to produce cells that fight off cancer and infection.
Atripla and other TDF-containing medications, are part of a class of drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). The Food and Drug Administration approved Atripla for use in 2006.
Atripla has been linked to dangerous and potentially fatal side effects the company failed to warn patients about. Furthermore, Gilead has been accused in multiple lawsuits of withholding a safer, alternative HIV medication in order to maximize its profits from TDF-containing medications.
How safe was this newer medication? One animal study showed that tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (or TAF, the alternative to TDF) had a “thousand-fold greater activity against HIV” than TDF.
Read more about the dangers of TDF in the studies outlined on our TDF Lawsuit page here.
Atripla Side Effects
When HIV-positive people take HIV-inhibiting medications like Atripla, they are supposed to be able to live longer and fuller lives. Below are a list of the side effects that have been associated with TDF medications, such as Atripla.
Liver problems are associated with TDF medications and can appear as:
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- Dark-colored urine
- Light-colored bowel movements
- Loss of appetite for several days or longer
- Feeling sick to your stomach (nausea)
- Pain in the stomach area (abdominal pain)
TDF may cause lactic acidosis, which is a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. If left untreated, lactic acidosis can be fatal. The warning signs may include:
- Weakness or tiredness
- Unusual muscle pain
- Shortness of breath or fast breathing
- Stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
- Hands or feet that feel cold or turn blue
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fast or abnormal heartbeat
Additional side effects from medications containing TDF are:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Declining kidney function
- Acute kidney injury
- Acute renal failure
- Fanconi syndrome
- Kidney failure
- Decreased bone mineral density
- Osteopenia (softening, or thinning of the bones)
- Bone fractures
- Dental problems
- Tooth loss or decay
It’s very important to take your medication as prescribed. It is possible to have a flare-up of HIV if you stop taking Atripla as prescribed. Even if you’re reading this and know you have been seriously affected by any one of these HIV medications, it’s important you speak with your physician before you stop taking TDF medications.