Also Known As: Emtricitabine, Emtriva, Coviracil
Emtricitabine is also marketed in a fixed-dose combination with tenofovir (Viread) under the brand nameTruvada. A fixed-dose triple combination of emtricitabine, tenofovir and efavirenz (Sustiva, marketed byBristol-Myers Squibb) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 12, 2006 under the brand name Atripla.
Emtricitabine makes up one fourth of the Quad pill (brand name: Stribild).
Emtricitabine is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV infection in adults. Emtricitabine is commercially available and is approved by the FDA for treatment of HIV infection.
Emtricitabine exhibits clinical activity against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Among individuals with chronic HBV infection, emtricitabine treatment results in significant histologic, virologic, and biochemical improvement. The safety profile of emtricitabine during treatment is similar to that of a placebo. Emtricitabine, however, cures neither HIV nor HBV infection. In a study involving individuals with HBV infection, symptoms of infection returned in 23% of emtricitabine-treated individuals who were taken off therapy. In studies involving individuals with chronic HIV infection, viral replication also resumes when study subjects are taken off therapy.
Emtricitabine is not approved by the FDA for treatment of HBV infection. As with drugs used to treat HIV infection, drugs used to treat HBV infection may have to be used in combination to prevent the evolution of drug resistant strains. Lamivudine is also active against HBV virus and commercially available. Like emtricitabine, lamivudine, when used on its own, does not completely suppress viral replication. This allows drug resistant strains to emerge. The effectiveness of emtricitabine in combination with other anti-HBV drugs has not been established. Clinical trials are still ongoing.