What are TDF and Truvada?

The HIV drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is a pharmaceutical that is prescribed (along with other drugs) to patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The branded drugs Truvada, Viread, Atripla, Complera, and Stribild all contain TDF. Viread was the first anti-HIV TDF drug on the market, in 2001.

TDF’s ingredients work to decrease the amount of HIV virus in the system, thereby boosting the immune system.

Truvada, a drug combinating emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, was originally prescribed to treat HIV when it was released in 2004. In 2012 it was also approved as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV for sexually active at-risk adults, along with safe sex practices.

TDF and the other TDF-containing drugs are manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc., an American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Foster City, California.

What are the side effects of  TDF and Truvada?

Patients taking TDF/Truvada have reported serious side effects including bone deterioration, kidney problems, and lactic acidosis.

Symptoms of bone deterioration in patients taking TDF or Truvada may include:

  • Pain or discomfort;
  • Osteopenia (loss of bone mass);
  • Osteoporosis (porous bone – the bone looks like a honeycomb under a microscope)
  • Fractures

TDF or Truvada may also cause severe kidney problems including:

  • Acute renal failure;
  • Chronic kidney disease;
  • Kidney tubular dysfunction; or
  • Fanconi’s syndrome.

Patients may experience the following symptoms of kidney damage while taking TDF or Truvada:

  • Weakness;
  • Headaches;
  • Fatigue;
  • Confusion;
  • Breathing difficulty;
  • Bruising;
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Thirst;
  • Decreased urine output;
  • Numbness;
  • Muscle cramps;
  • Swelling;
  • Anemia; and/or
  • Yellow skin color

Finally, a patient taking TDF or Truvada may develop lactic acidosis, which is difficulty removing excess acid from the body. Lactic acidosis makes the blood too acidic, as blood is normally slightly alkaline. These symptoms may indicate lactic acidosis:

  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort;
  • Muscle pain or cramping;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Fast, shallow breathing;
  • Fatigue;
  • Weakness;
  • Cold and clammy skin;
  • Sweating;
  • Unusual anxiety or confusion;
  • Unusual sleepiness.

What should I do?

If you are experiencing any symptoms you believe may be related to a TDF-containing drug such as Truvada, you should seek medical attention from a physician immediately. In particular, lactic acidosis is a very serious condition. Lactic acidosis can cause death if not treated immediately on an emergency basis.

How we can help

Thornton Law Firm LLP has been a leader in investigating and pursuing financial compensation on behalf of individuals who have been injured by defective drugs for more than 30 years. We have a team of attorneys dedicated to this complex area of law. We understand your rights, what is at stake, and how to handle drug claims from beginning to end. For a free evaluation of your TDF/Truvada case, please call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at our toll-free number 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story here. You have nothing to risk. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case.