Biktarvy (bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat HIV in:
- certain adults
- certain children who weigh at least 14 kilograms (about 31 pounds)
Biktarvy is a complete treatment for HIV, which means that you don’t need to take any other drugs with it.
Biktarvy comes as an oral tablet. It’s not available in generic form. Each tablet of Biktarvy contains three active medications from two different antiretroviral drug classes.*
Specifically, Biktarvy tablets each contain:
- bictegravir, which is an integrase strand transfer inhibitor
- emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide, which are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
For information on the dosage of Biktarvy, including its strength and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Biktarvy, including details about how it’s used, see this article.
* A drug class is a group of medications that work together in the same way.
This article describes typical dosages for Biktarvy provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Biktarvy, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Biktarvy is prescribed to treat HIV in adults and children who weigh at least 14 kilograms (kg), about 31 pounds (lb), in certain situations.
Biktarvy comes as a tablet that you swallow.
Biktarvy tablets are available in two strengths:
- 50 milligrams (mg) of bictegravir/200 mg of emtricitabine/25 mg of tenofovir alafenamide. This strength is used in adults and children who weigh at least 25 kg (about 55 lb).
- 30 mg of bictegravir/120 mg of emtricitabine/15 mg of tenofovir alafenamide. This strength is used in children who weigh at least 14 kg to less than 25 kg.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for treating HIV
For treating HIV, the recommended Biktarvy dosage is one tablet taken once per day. Taking Biktarvy at about the same time each day is recommended.
Biktarvy is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Biktarvy is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
The recommended Biktarvy dosage for treating HIV in children is one tablet taken once per day. The drug is approved for use in children who weigh at least 14 kg (about 31 lb).
It’s very important that you don’t miss a dose of Biktarvy. Missing a dose can cause the amount of medication in your blood to decrease so much that Biktarvy can no longer control your HIV.
Over time, this can lead to the virus becoming resistant to Biktarvy. This means that the virus may become less sensitive to the drug. This can cause Biktarvy to be less effective or not effective at treating your HIV.
If you do miss a dose of Biktarvy, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time to take your next dose, do not “double dose” Biktarvy by taking two tablets. Doing this can increase your risk for side effects. Instead, skip your missed dose and take your next dose as scheduled.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.
Also make sure to refill your prescription or talk with your doctor or pharmacist about a refill before you run out of Biktarvy tablets.
If you have renal (kidney-related) problems or liver problems, these conditions can affect your Biktarvy dosage.
Before you start taking Biktarvy, your doctor will test your kidney function to make sure it’s safe for you to take this medication. This is done with blood and urine tests. You’ll also have these tests done occasionally while you’re taking Biktarvy.
This is because certain kidney problems, such as end stage renal disease, can make it harder for your body to get rid of Biktarvy. This can increase your risk for side effects. And one of Biktarvy’s active drugs, called tenofovir alafenamide, may cause kidney problems as a side effect. If your kidney function worsens while you’re taking Biktarvy, your doctor may have you stop taking the drug.
People with certain kidney problems, such as people with end stage renal disease who aren’t receiving long-term hemodialysis, shouldn’t take Biktarvy.
People with severe liver problems also shouldn’t take Biktarvy. Specifically, Biktarvy shouldn’t be prescribed for people who have liver impairment classified as Child-Pugh class C. This is because the drug hasn’t been studied in people with this condition.
If you have kidney or liver problems and you have questions about taking Biktarvy, talk with your doctor.
Note: Biktarvy has a boxed warning for worsening of hepatitis B in people with both HIV and hepatitis B. See the “Boxed warning” at the beginning of this article for more information.
Biktarvy comes as a tablet that you swallow. The recommended dosage for treating HIV is one tablet taken once per day. It can be taken either with or without food. And you should take Biktarvy at about the same time each day.
Biktarvy is a complete treatment for HIV. This means you take the medication by itself, without other antiretroviral drugs (drugs used to treat HIV).
It’s important that you don’t take more Biktarvy than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to side effects or an overdose.
If you take more than the recommended amount of Biktarvy
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Biktarvy. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Biktarvy for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Biktarvy without your doctor’s approval. If you have questions about the dosage of Biktarvy that’s right for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Biktarvy. These additional articles might be helpful to you:
- More about Biktarvy. For information about other aspects of Biktarvy, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Biktarvy, see this article. You can also look at Biktarvy’s patient information.
- Drug comparison. To find out how Biktarvy compares with other drugs, read about Genvoya and Truvada.
- Details about HIV. For details about HIV, visit our HIV and AIDS hub. You can also see our list of related articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.