Genvoya is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved to treat HIV in adults and in children of any age who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

Genvoya is approved for this use in certain situations. Specifically, Genvoya can be used in certain people who:

  • haven’t previously received HIV treatment
  • are replacing their current HIV treatment and who meet certain criteria

For more information about how the drug is used, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section below.

Drug details

Genvoya contains four active drugs: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide. It belongs to a group of drugs called antiretrovirals. The drug works by lowering the levels of HIV in your body. For more information, see the “How Genvoya works” section below.

Genvoya comes as tablets that you swallow. The drug is typically taken once per day with food. It is available in one strength that contains:

  • 150 milligrams (mg) of elvitegravir
  • 150 mg of cobicistat
  • 200 mg of emtricitabine
  • 10 mg of tenofovir alafenamide

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Genvoya, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section below.

Genvoya is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Genvoya contains the active drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide.

Genvoya can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Genvoya. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Genvoya, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Genvoya, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Genvoya can include:*

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Genvoya. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or view Genvoya’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Genvoya aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about these side effects, see “Side effect details” below.
Genvoya has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Side effects in children

Genvoya is approved to treat HIV in children of any age who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms). The side effects of Genvoya in children are similar to those in adults. (See the mild and serious side effect lists above to learn more.)

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Genvoya. But it isn’t known how often this side effect may have occurred in clinical studies of the drug.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Genvoya, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Rash or itching

It’s possible to develop a rash or itching while taking Genvoya. Rash and itching weren’t seen in clinical studies of Genvoya. But rash and hives were reported as possible side effects after the drug was made available to the public. And itching is a possible symptom of hives.

If you get a rash while taking Genvoya, tell your doctor. They’ll likely want to make sure the rash hasn’t been caused by a serious allergic reaction. (This is because a rash could be a symptom of a severe allergic reaction. See “Allergic reaction” above for details.)

Lactic acidosis

Taking Genvoya may cause lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in your body). Lactic acidosis can lead to severe liver problems, such as enlarged liver or fatty liver disease. It isn’t known how often lactic acidosis or severe liver problems may have occurred in clinical studies of Genvoya.

Symptoms of lactic acidosis can include:

Symptoms of liver problems can include:

If you experience any of the above symptoms while taking Genvoya, talk with your doctor. They’ll likely want to perform a blood test to check for lactic acidosis. They may also check your liver using liver function tests.

New or worsening kidney disease

Taking Genvoya can raise your risk for new kidney problems or make existing kidney problems worse. Kidney problems caused by Genvoya can include acute kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome. (Fanconi syndrome is a condition that prevents the kidneys from absorbing electrolytes and nutrients.)

In clinical studies, treatment with Genvoya was stopped due to a kidney problem in up to 4% of people who took the drug. (The percentage varied depending on their kidney function before treatment started.) Fanconi syndrome didn’t occur in any adults who took Genvoya in clinical studies.

The number of adults who had kidney problems after using other treatments in these studies isn’t known.

Symptoms of kidney problems can include:

Taking high doses or multiple doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) while using Genvoya can raise your risk for kidney problems. (Ibuprofen is an example of an NSAID.) For more information, see the “Genvoya interactions” section below.

You’ll likely have kidney function tests done before you start taking Genvoya and at certain points during your treatment. If you have any questions about possible kidney problems while using Genvoya, talk with your doctor.

Worsening of HBV

If you have HIV and HBV, stopping Genvoya can make your HBV infection worse. Genvoya has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

It isn’t known how many people who stopped taking Genvoya in clinical studies may have had an HBV infection that got worse.

Worsening of an HBV infection can lead to severe liver problems, such as liver failure. Other symptoms of a worsening HBV infection may include:

Don’t stop taking Genvoya without first talking with your doctor. Due to the risk of worsening HBV, you’ll likely receive an HBV test before you start taking Genvoya. If you have HBV and your doctor says it’s safe for you to stop taking Genvoya, you’ll likely have liver function tests for several months after you stop taking the drug. If your HBV worsens after stopping Genvoya, your doctor may prescribe HBV treatment.

If you’re concerned about the risk of a worsened HBV infection after stopping Genvoya, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Genvoya can vary. To find current prices for Genvoya tablets in your area, check out GoodRx.com.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Genvoya. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

It’s important to note that may have to get Genvoya at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or require help from healthcare professionals to be used safely and effectively.

Before approving coverage for Genvoya, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Genvoya, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Genvoya, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., the manufacturer of Genvoya, offers a program called Advancing Access. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 800-226-2056 or visit the program website.

Mail-order pharmacies

Genvoya may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Genvoya, so there’d be less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Genvoya isn’t available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

You may wonder how Genvoya compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here, we look at how Genvoya and Biktarvy are alike and different.

Ingredients

Genvoya contains four active drugs: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide.

Biktarvy also contains emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide. In addition, Biktarvy contains bictegravir.

Both Genvoya and Biktarvy belong to a group of drugs called antiretrovirals. These drugs work by lowering the levels of HIV in your body.

Uses

Genvoya and Biktarvy are both Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to treat HIV. Both drugs can be used in adults and in children of any age who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

Genvoya and Biktarvy are both approved for treating HIV in certain situations. Specifically, these drugs can be used in certain people who:

  • haven’t previously received HIV treatment
  • are replacing their current HIV treatment and who meet certain criteria

For more information about how Genvoya is used, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section below. To learn more about how Biktarvy is used, view the drug’s prescribing information.

Genvoya and Biktarvy are complete HIV treatment regimens. This means that the drugs aren’t taken with other HIV treatments.

Drug forms and administration

Genvoya and Biktarvy both come as tablets that are taken by mouth. Both drugs are typically taken once per day.

Genvoya should be taken with food, but Biktarvy can be taken with or without food.

Side effects and risks

Genvoya and Biktarvy have some similar side effects and others that vary. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Biktarvy, as well as mild side effects that both drugs may share.

  • Can occur with Genvoya:
    • few unique mild side effects
  • Can occur with Biktarvy:
    • abnormal dreams
    • insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • Can occur with both Genvoya and Biktarvy:

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Genvoya, as well as serious side effects that both drugs may share.

* Biktarvy both have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. For more information, see “Worsening of HBV” in the “Genvoya side effects” section above.

Effectiveness

The only condition that both Genvoya and Biktarvy are used to treat is HIV.

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. But studies have found both Genvoya and Biktarvy to be effective for treating HIV.

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Genvoya and Biktarvy generally cost about the same. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Genvoya and Biktarvy are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Genvoya to treat certain conditions. Genvoya may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Genvoya is FDA-approved to treat HIV. It can be used in adults and in children of any age who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

Genvoya is approved for this use in people who haven’t previously received HIV treatment. Genvoya can also be used to replace a different HIV treatment in people who meet all of the following conditions:

  • Have a viral load* of fewer than 50 copies per milliliter (copies/mL).
  • Have been using the same HIV treatment for at least 6 months without treatment failure. (With treatment failure, a drug isn’t effective to treat a certain condition.)
  • Have HIV that isn’t resistant to the active drugs in Genvoya. (Treatment resistance means that the drug isn’t effective in lowering the levels of HIV in your body.)

Genvoya is a complete HIV treatment regimen. This means that the drug isn’t taken with other HIV treatments.

* Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood. It’s measured in copies/mL on certain lab tests, including the HIV viral load test. This number describes how many copies of the virus are inside the body. And 50 copies/mL is the level at which most tests can detect viral load.

About HIV

HIV is a virus that attacks the cells in your immune system that fight infections. Specifically, HIV destroys a type of white blood cell called CD4. Without CD4 cells, you’re more likely to get infections that can be life threatening.

HIV can transmit (spread) from person to person through bodily fluids including blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal fluids. HIV cannot transmit through saliva or tears.

Some possible ways to be exposed to fluids that are infected with HIV include:

  • being born to a mother who has HIV
  • being breastfed by a mother who has HIV
  • having sexual intercourse with a person who has HIV
  • sharing used syringes or needles with someone who has HIV

Having casual contact with a person who has HIV won’t transmit the virus. Casual contact includes holding hands, hugging, and sitting next to someone.

If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, it’s important that you take an HIV test right away. This is because detecting HIV early can help lower the risk of the virus spreading to another person.

Without treatment, HIV can develop into AIDS. AIDS is an advanced form of HIV that can further increase your risk for serious infections.

Symptoms of HIV

Some people may have HIV for many years before they start experiencing symptoms. Symptoms of HIV can include:

Effectiveness for HIV

Genvoya has been found to be effective for treating HIV in certain adults and children.

In clinical studies of adults who hadn’t previously received HIV treatment, Genvoya was compared with elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Stribild).

In clinical studies of adults who were replacing their current HIV treatment and met certain criteria, Genvoya was compared with the following treatments:

  • efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Atripla)
  • a combination of:
    • emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
    • atazanavir (Reyataz)
    • cobicistat (Tybost) or ritonavir (Norvir)
  • elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Stribild)

These studies looked at how many adults had a viral load* of fewer than 50 copies per milliliter (copies/mL) after taking one of the above treatments.

For adults who hadn’t previously received HIV treatment, the results showed that the viral load was fewer than 50 copies/mL in:

  • 84% of adults who took Genvoya
  • 80% of adults who took other treatments listed above

For adults who were replacing their current HIV treatment and met certain criteria, the results showed that the viral load was fewer than 50 copies/mL in:

  • 93% of adults who took Genvoya
  • 89% of adults who took other treatments listed above

* Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood. It’s measured in copies/mL on certain lab tests, including the HIV viral load test. This number describes how many copies of the virus are inside the body. And 50 copies/mL is the level at which most tests can detect viral load.

Genvoya for other conditions

In addition to the uses listed above, Genvoya may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is used for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

And you may wonder if Genvoya is used for certain other conditions. Below is some information about another possible use for Genvoya.

Genvoya for PrEP

Genvoya isn’t approved for use as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is the use of an antiretroviral drug to help prevent people who don’t have HIV from getting the virus.

The only FDA-approved drugs for PrEP at this time are emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy) and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada).

Like Truvada and Descovy, Genvoya contains the active drug emtricitabine. And also like Descovy, Genvoya contains the active drug tenofovir alafenamide.* But there haven’t been enough clinical studies of Genvoya being used as PrEP to determine if it’s effective for this use. So, Genvoya shouldn’t be used off-label for PrEP.

If you have any questions about using Genvoya for PrEP, talk with your doctor.

* In addition to emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide, Genvoya also contains the active drugs elvitegravir and cobicistat.

Genvoya and children

Genvoya has been shown to be effective in treating HIV in children who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

In clinical studies, 92% of children who took Genvoya as a first treatment for HIV had a viral load* of fewer than 50 copies/mL after 48 weeks of treatment. And the viral load remained fewer than 50 copies/mL after 24 weeks in 100% of children who switched to Genvoya from another HIV treatment.

Genvoya wasn’t compared with other treatments in these studies.

* Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood. It’s measured in copies/mL on certain lab tests, including the HIV viral load test. This number describes how many copies of the virus are inside the body. And 50 copies/mL is the level at which most tests can detect viral load.

* Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood. It’s measured in copies/mL on certain lab tests, including the HIV viral load test. This number describes how many copies of the virus are inside the body. And 50 copies/mL is the level at which most tests can detect viral load.

Your doctor will start you on the typical Genvoya dosage used to treat HIV. Then, they’ll monitor your condition over time to make sure you aren’t having serious side effects. Your doctor will prescribe Genvoya for the longest amount of time needed to treat your HIV, while keeping your risk for side effects low.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Genvoya comes as a tablet that’s taken by mouth.

Each Genvoya tablet contains four active drugs in the following strengths:

  • 150 milligrams (mg) of elvitegravir
  • 150 mg of cobicistat
  • 200 mg of emtricitabine
  • 10 mg of tenofovir alafenamide

Dosage for HIV

Genvoya is approved to treat HIV in adults and in children of any age who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).* The typical dosage of Genvoya is one tablet taken once per day. The drug should be taken at the same time each day. (For more details, see the “How to take Genvoya” section below.)

* Genvoya is approved to treat HIV in certain situations. For details, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section above.

Children’s dosage

Genvoya is approved to treat HIV in certain children who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

The dosage of Genvoya used for children is the same as the dosage used for adults: one tablet taken once per day.

What if I miss a dose?

It’s important that you don’t miss a dose of Genvoya. A missed dose can allow your HIV to become resistant to the drug. This means that Genvoya may be less effective at treating your HIV.

If you do miss a dose of Genvoya, take your missed dose as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, just skip your missed dose. Then, you can take your next dose at its usual time. If you aren’t sure whether to take your missed dose or skip it, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

You shouldn’t take an extra dose of Genvoya to make up for your missed dose. Doing this can raise your risk for side effects.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app, such as this free app from the manufacturer of Genvoya. A kitchen timer can also work.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Yes, Genvoya is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Genvoya is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

You shouldn’t stop taking Genvoya without first talking with your doctor, especially if you have HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV). This is because stopping Genvoya can worsen your HBV. Genvoya has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (For more information, see the “Genvoya side effects” section above.)

There aren’t any known interactions between Genvoya and alcohol.

But excessive alcohol use can lead to liver disease. Also, taking Genvoya may cause lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in your body), which can also lead to severe liver problems. (See the “Genvoya side effects” section above for details.) For this reason, you may need to limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking Genvoya.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that’s safe for you to drink while taking this drug.

Genvoya can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Genvoya and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Genvoya. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Genvoya.

Before taking Genvoya, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have any questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Genvoya and other antiretroviral medications

Genvoya is an antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV. Antiretroviral drugs work by lowering the levels of HIV in your body.

Genvoya is a complete HIV treatment regimen. This means that the drug isn’t taken with other HIV treatments. For this reason, possible interactions between Genvoya and other antiretroviral drugs haven’t been studied.

If you have any questions about using other HIV medications while taking Genvoya, talk with your doctor.

Genvoya and certain drugs whose breakdown is affected by it

Taking certain other drugs with Genvoya may make the other drugs less effective at treating the conditions they’re used for. Genvoya can increase the activity of enzymes (types of proteins) that break these drugs down in your body. This could lower the levels of these drugs in your blood.

Examples of these drugs include:

  • naloxone (Narcan)
  • ethinyl estradiol

Taking Genvoya may also increase your risk for side effects from other drugs. This can happen because Genvoya can prevent enzymes (proteins) from breaking these drugs down in your body. This raises the levels of these drugs in your blood.

Examples of these drugs include:

Before starting Genvoya, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about all medications you take. They can help determine whether or not any of your medications will interact with Genvoya.

Genvoya and certain drugs that affect its breakdown

Taking certain other drugs with Genvoya may make Genvoya less effective at treating your HIV. This can happen when other drugs increase the activity of enzymes (types of proteins) that break down Genvoya in your body. This could lower the levels of Genvoya in your blood.

Examples of these drugs include:

Also, taking certain other drugs with Genvoya may increase your risk for side effects from Genvoya. This can happen when other drugs block the activity of enzymes that break Genvoya down in your body. This raises the levels of Genvoya in your blood.

Examples of these drugs include:

Talk with your doctor about all medications you take before starting Genvoya. They can determine if your other medications are safe to take with Genvoya.

Genvoya and drugs that affect kidney function

Taking other drugs that affect your kidneys while taking Genvoya can raise your risk for new or worsening kidney problems. This is because certain drugs can prevent your kidneys from getting rid of Genvoya. This leads to a buildup of Genvoya in your body, which can increase your risk for kidney side effects, such as acute kidney failure. (For more information, see “New or worsening kidney problems” in the “Genvoya side effects” section above.)

Examples of drugs that can affect your kidney function include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil).

Before starting Genvoya, talk with your doctor about all medications you take. They can help determine if it’s safe for you to keep taking these drugs while using Genvoya.

Genvoya and herbs and supplements

You should avoid taking the herbal supplement St. John’s wort during your Genvoya treatment. Taking Genvoya with St. John’s wort may lower the levels of Genvoya in your body. This could cause the drug to be less effective in treating your HIV.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any herbs or supplements while taking Genvoya.

Genvoya and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Genvoya. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Genvoya, talk with your doctor.

Genvoya and grapefruit (not an interaction)

Consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice can raise the levels of some medications in your blood. This can increase your risk for side effects from the medication.

So, in theory, eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Genvoya could increase the levels of Genvoya in your body. But there haven’t been any studies on this.

If you want to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice during your Genvoya treatment, talk with your doctor about whether or not this is safe for you. If you have increased side effects with this combination, avoid consuming grapefruit products with Genvoya in the future.

Other drugs are available that can treat HIV. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Genvoya, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Examples of other drugs that may be used alone or with other drugs to treat HIV include:

  • abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom)
  • abacavir/dolutegravir/lamivudine (Triumeq)
  • bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Biktarvy)
  • cobicistat (Tybost)
  • efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Atripla)
  • elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Stribild)
  • emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir alafenamide (Odefsey)
  • emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Complera)
  • emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy)
  • emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
  • enfuvirtide (Fuzeon)
  • fostemsavir (Rukobia)
  • ibalizumab-uiyk (Trogarzo)
  • maraviroc (Selzentry)
  • non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, such as efavirenz (Sustiva) and nevirapine (Viramune)
  • nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, such as abacavir (Ziagen) and lamivudine (Epivir)
  • protease inhibitors, such as atazanavir (Reyataz) and tipranavir (Aptivus)

You may wonder how Genvoya compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here, we look at how Genvoya and Stribild are alike and different.

Ingredients

Genvoya contains four active drugs: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide.

Stribild also contains elvitegravir, cobicistat, and emtricitabine. But Stribild contains a different form of tenofovir*, called tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

Both Genvoya and Stribild belong to a group of drugs called antiretrovirals. These drugs work by lowering the levels of HIV in your body.

* The form of tenofovir in Genvoya is absorbed more quickly by the body than the form in Stribild. For this reason, the form of tenofovir in Genvoya can be taken in smaller doses. This lowers the risk of side effects from the drug. (For information about possible side effects of Genvoya and Stribild, see the “Side effects and risks” section below.)

Uses

Genvoya and Stribild are both Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved to treat HIV in certain situations. Specifically, these drugs can be used in certain people who:

  • haven’t previously received HIV treatment
  • are replacing their current HIV treatment and who meet certain criteria

For more information about how Genvoya is used, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section above. To learn more about how Stribild is used, view the drug’s prescribing information.

Genvoya is approved for use in adults and in children of any age who weigh at least 55 pounds (lb) (25 kilograms [kg]). Stribild is approved for use in adults and in children ages 12 years and older who weigh at least 77 lb (35 kg).

Genvoya and Stribild are complete HIV treatment regimens. This means that the drugs aren’t taken with other HIV treatments.

Drug forms and administration

Genvoya and Stribild both come as tablets that are taken by mouth. Both drugs are typically taken once per day with food.

Side effects and risks

Genvoya and Stribild have some similar side effects and others that vary. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with either Genvoya or Stribild, as well as mild side effects that both drugs may share.

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Stribild, as well as serious side effects that both drugs may share.

* Stribild both have a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. For more information, see “Worsening of HBV” in the “Genvoya side effects” section above.

Effectiveness

The only condition that both Genvoya and Stribild are used to treat is HIV.

The use of Genvoya and Stribild in treating HIV has been directly compared in a clinical study. For more information about how these drugs compare, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section above.

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Genvoya and Stribild generally cost about the same. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Genvoya and Stribild are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Genvoya.

Does Genvoya cause weight gain or weight loss?

No, Genvoya isn’t known to cause weight gain or weight loss. These side effects weren’t reported in clinical studies of Genvoya.

But weight gain is a possible side effect of other drugs used to treat HIV, such as raltegravir (Isentress). And, in general, weight gain can happen after you start HIV treatment. This is because HIV itself can cause weight loss. So, treating HIV might cause you to gain back some of the weight that you lost. For this reason, you may gain weight after starting Genvoya. But the weight gain may not necessarily be a side effect of the drug.

If you’re concerned about weight gain or weight loss while taking Genvoya, talk with your doctor. They can suggest some healthful ways for you to manage your weight while taking this drug.

Will Genvoya cause a false positive on drug tests?

It isn’t known if Genvoya can cause a false-positive drug test. (False positives occur when a drug test shows a positive result for drugs that haven’t actually been used.) False-positive drug tests weren’t reported in clinical studies of Genvoya.

But other drugs used to treat HIV, such as efavirenz (Sustiva), are known to cause false-positive results for certain drugs. These drugs include benzodiazepines (drugs used to treat anxiety) and cannabis.

If you have any questions about Genvoya’s effect on drug test results, talk with your doctor.

Does Genvoya have any contraindications?

Yes, Genvoya has contraindications. (Contraindications are situations in which the drug shouldn’t be used.)

Genvoya shouldn’t be used with medications that affect its breakdown in the body. The drug also shouldn’t be used with medications whose breakdown is affected by Genvoya.

In addition, Genvoya shouldn’t be used with certain herbs and supplements. For a list of drugs that shouldn’t be used with Genvoya, see the “Genvoya interactions” section above.

Genvoya shouldn’t be used with these drugs for several possible reasons. Genvoya may increase the levels of these drugs in the body, which raises the risk of side effects from these drugs. Or, the drugs may decrease the levels of Genvoya in the body, making it less effective for treating HIV.

If you have any questions about taking certain drugs with Genvoya, talk with your doctor.

If I have kidney problems, can I take Genvoya?

Whether or not you can take Genvoya depends on how severe your condition is. If you have severe kidney problems, you probably won’t be able to take Genvoya.

Taking Genvoya can raise your risk for new kidney problems or make existing kidney problems worse. Kidney problems caused by Genvoya can include acute kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome. (Fanconi syndrome is a condition that prevents the kidneys from absorbing electrolytes and nutrients.)

For more information about possible kidney side effects, see the “Genvoya side effects” section above.

Does Genvoya cure HIV?

No, Genvoya doesn’t cure HIV. There currently isn’t a known cure for this condition.

But with treatment, HIV can be controlled. The goal of HIV treatment is to decrease your viral load to a level so low that it’s undetectable on HIV tests. (Viral load is the amount of virus in your blood.)

Having a very low viral load can prevent the transmission (spread) of HIV to another person. In clinical studies, Genvoya was effective in decreasing viral loads to undetectable levels. (For more information, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section above.)

If you have any questions about what to expect with Genvoya treatment, talk with your doctor.

Will Genvoya cause depression?

No, Genvoya isn’t likely to cause depression. Depression isn’t a side effect that was reported in clinical studies of Genvoya.

Suicidal thoughts or behaviors occurred in fewer than 1% of people who took the drug in clinical studies. But this only occurred in people with a history of mental health conditions, such as depression. It isn’t known how often suicidal thoughts or behaviors may have occurred in people using other treatments in these studies.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of mental health conditions before starting treatment with Genvoya. If you have suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking Genvoya, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can call 800-799-4889.

Click here for more links and local resources.

You should take Genvoya according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

When to take

You’ll typically take Genvoya once per day. There’s not one best time to take Genvoya, but you should take the drug at the same time each day. This helps keep steady amounts of Genvoya in your system so that the drug can work consistently over time to treat your HIV.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm on your phone or downloading a reminder app, such as this free app from the manufacturer of Genvoya. A kitchen timer can also work.

Taking Genvoya with food

You should take Genvoya with food. This helps make sure that your body absorbs enough of the drug for it to be effective. The best time to take Genvoya is with a snack or a full meal.

Can Genvoya be crushed, split, or chewed?

No, Genvoya shouldn’t be crushed, split, or chewed. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have trouble swallowing Genvoya tablets.

Genvoya is approved to treat HIV in certain situations in adults and in children of any age who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).*

HIV is a virus that attacks the cells in your immune system that fight infections. With HIV, you’re more likely to get serious infections that can be life threatening.

The goal of HIV treatment is to reduce your viral load to a level so low that it’s undetectable on HIV tests. Viral load is the amount of virus in your blood. Having a very low viral load can prevent HIV from transmitting (spreading) to another person.

Genvoya belongs to a group of drugs called antiretroviral drugs. It works to decrease your viral load by stopping the virus from replicating (copying itself and making more virus). The way a drug works in your body is called its “mechanism of action.”

* Genvoya is approved to treat HIV in certain situations. For details, see the “Genvoya for HIV” section above.

How long does it take to work?

Genvoya starts working right away to treat your HIV. But it may take time for Genvoya to reach a consistent level in your body.

Your doctor will likely monitor your HIV levels every couple of weeks to make sure the drug is working for you. But with any HIV drug, including Genvoya, it can generally take 24 to 48 weeks to reach an undetectable HIV viral load. This means having a virus level that’s so low it can’t be measured by HIV tests. Having an undetectable viral load decreases your risk for infections. It also lowers the risk of HIV spreading to another person.

If you’re interested in learning about the half-life of Genvoya, ask your doctor or pharmacist. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time it takes your body to remove half a dose of the medication from your system.

Genvoya isn’t recommended for use during pregnancy. This is because pregnancy can cause lower levels of elvitegravir and cobicistat in the body. (These are two of the active drugs in Genvoya.*) And lower levels of these active drugs could make Genvoya less effective for treating HIV.

There isn’t enough information from clinical studies to determine if Genvoya can cause congenital anomalies (birth defects) or miscarriage (pregnancy loss) when taken during pregnancy. Animal studies didn’t show any negative effects when these active drugs were given to pregnant females. And Genvoya’s active drugs didn’t cause negative effects in the offspring of pregnant females who were given the drug. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you take Genvoya during pregnancy, consider enrolling in the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. This pregnancy registry helps doctors learn more about Genvoya’s safety by collecting information about the drug’s use during pregnancy. You can find more information at the pregnancy registry website or by calling 800-258­-4263.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor before taking Genvoya. They can tell you about alternative options for treating for your condition.

* In addition to elvitegravir and cobicistat, Genvoya also contains the active drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide.

Genvoya isn’t recommended for use during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Genvoya.

For more information about taking Genvoya during pregnancy, see the “Genvoya and pregnancy” section above.

For females using Genvoya

If you take hormonal birth control, Genvoya can change the levels of birth control hormones in your body. This can either make your hormonal birth control less effective or raise your risk for side effects from your birth control. These side effects may include acne or blood clots in a deep vein. So, when taking Genvoya, you should consider using nonhormonal birth control.

Examples of nonhormonal birth control methods include:

If you have any questions about the form of birth control that’s best for you while taking Genvoya, talk with your doctor.

For males using Genvoya

The manufacturer of Genvoya hasn’t given birth control recommendations for males who use the drug. If you’re using Genvoya and your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while taking the drug.

You shouldn’t take Genvoya while breastfeeding.

Emtricitabine (one of the active drugs in Genvoya*) can pass into breast milk during breastfeeding. This can put a breastfed child at risk for exposure to the drug and its side effects. (For more information about potential side effects, see the “Genvoya side effects” section above.)

In addition, breastfeeding a child who has HIV while you’re taking Genvoya can increase the child’s risk for developing resistance to Genvoya treatment. Treatment resistance means the drug won’t be effective in lowering the levels of HIV in the child’s body.

Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that mothers with HIV avoid breastfeeding. This recommendation is to help prevent HIV from spreading from the mother to the breastfed child.

If you have any questions about the best way to feed your child when you have HIV or while you’re taking Genvoya, talk with your doctor.

* In addition to emtricitabine, Genvoya also contains the active drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, and tenofovir alafenamide.

When you get Genvoya from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, ask your pharmacist if you can still use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store it.

Genvoya tablets should be stored in their original container. They should be stored at a temperature below 86°F (30°C), and the container should be kept tightly closed and away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Genvoya and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Don’t use more Genvoya than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you take too much Genvoya

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warning: Worsening hepatitis B infection

This drug has a boxed warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Stopping Genvoya can worsen hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in people who have both HIV and HBV. Worsening HBV can lead to other liver problems, such as liver failure. For this reason, you’ll likely receive an HBV test before you start taking Genvoya.

You shouldn’t stop taking Genvoya without first talking with your doctor. If you have HBV and your doctor says it’s safe to stop taking the drug, you’ll likely have liver function tests for several months after stopping treatment. If you have HBV that gets worse after stopping Genvoya, your doctor may prescribe a treatment for HBV.

For more information about worsening HBV with Genvoya, see the “Genvoya side effects” section above.

Other precautions

Before taking Genvoya, talk with your doctor about your health history. Genvoya may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Poor kidney function. You shouldn’t take Genvoya if you have poor kidney function or other kidney problems. This could raise your risk for kidney problems, such as acute kidney failure, during your treatment. Before starting Genvoya, tell your doctor if you have poor kidney function. They may recommend a different option for treating your HIV.
  • Poor liver function. You shouldn’t take Genvoya if you have poor liver function or other liver problems. This could raise your risk for other liver problems, such as enlarged liver or fatty liver disease, during treatment. Before starting Genvoya, tell your doctor if you have poor liver function. They’ll likely recommend a different treatment for your HIV.
  • Depression or other mental health conditions. If you have a history of mental health conditions, such as depression, you may be at risk for suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking Genvoya. If you have a history of mental health conditions, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Genvoya. They may recommend a different treatment for your HIV. If you experience suicidal thoughts while taking Genvoya, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Genvoya or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Genvoya. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. Genvoya shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Genvoya and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. You shouldn’t breastfeed while using Genvoya. For more information, see the “Genvoya and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Genvoya, see the “Genvoya side effects” section above.

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 other 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.