Stribild is a brand-name prescription drug that’s FDA-approved to treat HIV. The drug can be given to adults and children ages 12 years and older who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kilograms).

Stribild is approved to treat HIV only in certain situations Specifically, it can be used in people who:

  • have never received treatment for HIV in the past
  • are replacing a different HIV treatment and who meet certain criteria

For more information about how Stribild is used, see the “Stribild uses” section below.

Drug details

Stribild contains four active drugs: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. It belongs to a group of drugs called antiretrovirals. These types of drugs work to lower the levels of HIV in your body. For more information, see the “How Stribild works” section below.

Stribild comes as tablets that are taken by mouth. It’s typically taken once per day, with food. The drug comes in one strength that contains:

  • 150 milligrams (mg) of elvitegravir
  • 150 mg of cobicistat
  • 200 mg of emtricitabine
  • 300 mg of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Stribild, see the “Stribild uses” section below.

Stribild 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.

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

For more information about the possible side effects of Stribild, 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 Stribild, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Stribild 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 Stribild. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or check Stribild’s patient information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Stribild 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 this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
Stribild has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.
‡ For more information about suicidal thoughts or actions, see the “Stribild precautions” section below.

Side effects in children

Stribild is approved to treat HIV in children ages 12 years and older who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kilograms). The side effects of Stribild in children are similar to those in adults.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or if certain side effects are associated with it. Here’s some detail on certain side effects that this drug may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Stribild. 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, and 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 Stribild, 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.

Kidney problems

Taking Stribild may cause kidney problems, such as acute kidney failure or Fanconi syndrome. (Fanconi syndrome is a condition that prevents the kidneys from absorbing electrolytes and nutrients.)

Symptoms of kidney problems can include:

Your doctor will likely perform kidney function tests both before you start taking Stribild and regularly during your treatment. If you have questions about possible kidney problems while using Stribild, talk with your doctor.

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

How common are kidney problems with Stribild?

In clinical studies of adults, Stribild was compared with the following HIV treatments:

  • a combination of atazanavir (Reyataz), ritonavir (Norvir), and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
  • efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Atripla)

Note: Stribild contains the active drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

In these studies, treatment was stopped due to a kidney problem in:

  • 1.9% of adults who took Stribild
  • 2.3% of adults who took a combination of atazanavir, ritonavir, and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • 0% of adults who used efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate

Apart from some people who showed signs of Fanconi syndrome, it’s not known exactly what types of kidney problem people had. But Fanconi syndrome happened in:

  • 0.6% of adults who took Stribild
  • 0.3% of adults who took a combination of atazanavir, ritonavir, and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate

The number of adults who may have had Fanconi syndrome after using efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate isn’t known.

Rash

It’s possible to develop a rash while taking Stribild.

In clinical studies that compared Stribild with other HIV treatments, a rash developed in:

  • 4% of adults who took Stribild
  • 6% of adults who took a combination of atazanavir (Reyataz), ritonavir (Norvir), and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
  • 15% of adults who took efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Atripla)

Note: Stribild contains the active drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

From these studies, it isn’t known how long people’s rashes lasted. And it isn’t known when their rashes developed after they started taking their treatment.

If you get a rash while taking Stribild, be sure to tell your doctor. They’ll likely want to make sure the rash isn’t caused by a serious allergic reaction. (This is because a rash or other symptoms, such as swelling, could be symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. See “Allergic reaction” above for more details.)

Diarrhea

Stribild may cause diarrhea in some cases.

In clinical studies that compared Stribild with other HIV treatments, diarrhea was reported by:

  • 12% of adults who took Stribild
  • 17% of adults who took a combination of atazanavir (Reyataz), ritonavir (Norvir), and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
  • 11% of adults who took efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Atripla)

Note: Stribild contains the active drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

The duration and severity of people’s diarrhea in these studies isn’t known.

If you have diarrhea that’s bothersome while you’re taking Stribild, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to reduce this side effect.

Worsening hepatitis B

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

Worsening of an HBV infection can lead to severe liver problems, such as liver failure. Some other symptoms that suggest your HBV infection may be getting worse can include:

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

Due to the risk of worsening HBV, your doctor will likely test you for HBV before you start taking Stribild. You also shouldn’t stop taking Stribild without first talking with your doctor.

If you have HBV and your doctor says it’s safe for you to stop taking Stribild, you’ll likely have liver function tests for several months after you stop the drug. And if your HBV worsens after stopping Stribild, your doctor may prescribe HBV treatment.

If you’re concerned about the risk of your HBV infection getting worse after stopping Stribild, talk with your doctor.

Weight gain (not a side effect)

Weight gain was not a side effect that occurred in clinical studies of Stribild.

But weight gain is a possible side effect of other drugs used to treat HIV, such as raltegravir (Isentress).

Weight gain can also happen after starting HIV treatment in general. This can happen because HIV itself can cause weight loss. So, treating HIV might cause you to regain some of the weight that you lost. For this reason, you may gain weight after starting Stribild. But the weight gain may not necessarily be a side effect of the drug.

If you’re concerned about weight gain while taking Stribild, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to maintain a weight that’s healthy for you while taking this drug.

Hair loss (not a side effect)

Hair loss wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Stribild.

But hair loss is a possible side effect of other HIV treatments, such as atazanavir (Reyataz). And hair loss can be a symptom of HIV. So, if you’re starting Stribild as your first HIV treatment, you might have hair loss. But this hair loss could be caused by HIV and not by Stribild itself.

If you have questions about your risk for hair loss while taking Stribild, talk with your doctor.

You may wonder how Stribild compares with Genvoya, which is another drug used to treat HIV. Below are a few ways these drugs are alike and different.

Stribild and Genvoya both work to lower levels of HIV in the body. And both drugs have been effective in treating HIV in adults and children.

Stribild can be given to children ages 12 years and older who weigh at least 77 pounds (lb) (35 kilograms [kg]). But Genvoya can be given to children of any age who weigh at least 55 lb (25 kg). Both drugs are typically taken once per day, with food.

Stribild and Genvoya contain the same four active drugs. And they each contain the same strength of three of these active drugs: elvitegravir, cobicistat, and emtricitabine. But Stribild and Genvoya contain different forms and strengths of the active drug tenofovir:

  • Stribild contains 300 milligrams (mg) of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Genvoya contains 10 mg of tenofovir alafenamide

The form of tenofovir in Genvoya is absorbed more quickly by the body than the form in Stribild. This means that the form of tenofovir in Genvoya can be taken in smaller doses, which leads to lower levels of the drug in the blood. This lowers your risk for side effects from the drug, such as kidney problems or bone loss. (For information about the possible side effects of Stribild, see the “Stribild side effects” section above.)

If you have questions about how Stribild and Genvoya compare, talk with your doctor.

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

Stribild for HIV

Stribild is FDA-approved to treat HIV. It can be given to certain adults and to children ages 12 years and older who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kilograms).

Stribild can be used in people who’ve never received treatment for their HIV. It can also be used to replace a different HIV treatment in people who meet all of the following criteria:

  • have HIV blood levels below 50 copies per milliliter (mL)*
  • have been taking the same HIV treatment for at least 6 months
  • haven’t used other HIV drugs in the past that weren’t effective
  • have HIV that isn’t resistant† to the active drugs in Stribild

Stribild is a complete HIV treatment regimen. This means that the drug doesn’t need to be taken with other HIV treatments.

* HIV is 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.
† Treatment resistance happens when a drug isn’t effective in preventing HIV from multiplying in the body.

What HIV is

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

HIV can spread from person to person through blood and other bodily fluids. Some people may have HIV for several years before they start having symptoms. Symptoms of HIV can include:

Without treatment, HIV can develop into AIDS. AIDS is a serious condition that can increase your risk for infections even more.

Effectiveness for HIV

Stribild has been found effective for treating HIV in certain adults and in children ages 12 years and older.

In clinical studies of adults, Stribild was compared with the following treatments:

  • a combination of:
    • ritonavir (Norvir)
    • emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
  • a combination of:
    • a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), such as nevirapine (Viramune)
    • emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
  • efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Atripla)

Note: Stribild contains the active drugs elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

These studies looked at how many adults had a viral load of fewer than 50 copies/mL† after taking one of the above treatments. The results showed that the viral load was fewer than 50 copies/mL in:

  • 78% to 94% of adults who took Stribild, depending on whether the drug was used as a first treatment or as a later treatment
  • 75% to 87% of adults who took a combination of a PI, ritonavir, and emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, depending on the PI being studied
  • 75% of 88% adults who took an NNRTI and efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, depending on the NNRTI used

* Like Stribild, a PI is a type of antiretroviral drug. These drugs work to lower the levels of HIV in your body. To do this, PIs work in a slightly different way in the body than Stribild does.
† Viral load is the amount of virus in the blood. This is 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.

Off-label use for Stribild

In addition to the use listed above, Stribild may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA. Below is an example of an off-label use for Stribild.

Stribild for post-exposure prophylaxis

Although Stribild isn’t approved for use as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), it’s sometimes used off-label for this purpose. PEP is the short-term use of an antiretroviral drug to help prevent HIV infection after exposure to the virus. And, in a clinical study, Stribild was effective in preventing HIV infection after HIV exposure. But there haven’t been enough clinical studies of Stribild being used as a preventive therapy for HIV to determine its effectiveness for this use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada) as PEP. For this purpose, Truvada is used off-label in combination with either raltegravir (Isentress) or dolutegravir (other drugs used to treat HIV).

Like Truvada, Stribild contains the active drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.*

If you have questions about using Stribild for PEP, talk with your doctor.

* As well as emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, Stribild also contains the active drugs elvitegravir and cobicistat.

Stribild and children

Stribild has been effective in treating HIV in children ages 12 years and older who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kilograms).

In clinical studies, 88% of children who took Stribild had a viral load of fewer than 50 copies/mL* after 48 weeks of treatment. Stribild wasn’t compared with other treatments in these studies.

* Viral load is the amount of virus in the blood. This is 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.

As with all medications, the cost of Stribild can vary. To find current prices for Stribild 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 Stribild. 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 you’ll have to get Stribild at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or may require help from healthcare professionals to be used safely and effectively.

Before approving coverage for Stribild, 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 Stribild, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

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

Gilead Sciences, Inc., the manufacturer of Stribild, offers a program called Advancing Access. This program offers a copay coupon and a patient support program to help lower the cost of Stribild. 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

Stribild 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 Stribild, which would mean less of a 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

Stribild is not 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.

Your doctor will start you on the typical Stribild 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 Stribild 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

Stribild comes as a tablet that you swallow.

Each Stribild tablet contains four active drugs, in the following strengths:

  • 150 milligrams (mg) of elvitegravir
  • 50 mg of cobicistat
  • 200 mg of emtricitabine
  • 300 mg of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate

Dosage for HIV

Stribild is approved to treat HIV in adults and in children 12 years and older.* The typical dosage of Stribild is one tablet taken once per day. The drug should be taken at the same time each day, with food. (For more details, see the “How to take Stribild” section below.)

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

Children’s dosage

Stribild is approved to treat HIV in certain children who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kilograms).

The dosage of Stribild used for children is the same as the dosage used for adults: one tablet taken once per day, with food. See “Dosage for HIV,” right above, for more details.

What if I miss a dose?

It’s important that you don’t miss taking a dose of Stribild. A missed dose can allow your HIV to become resistant to the drug. This means that the Stribild won’t work as well for treating your HIV.

But if you do miss a dose of Stribild, take your missed dose as soon as you remember. Or, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip your missed dose. Then, 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.

Don’t take an extra dose of Stribild to make up for your missed dose. Doing this can increase your risk for side effects.

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. A kitchen timer can also work.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

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

Note: You shouldn’t stop taking Stribild without first talking with your doctor, especially if you have HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV). This is due to the risk of worsening HBV infection after stopping the drug. Stribild 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 details, see the “Stribild side effects” section above.)

If you have questions about what to expect from Stribild treatment, talk with your doctor.

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

Ingredients

Stribild contains four active drugs: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

Biktarvy also contains emtricitabine. Additionally, Biktarvy contains bictegravir and tenofovir alafenamide.

Both Stribild and Biktarvy belong to a group of drugs called antiretrovirals. Antiretroviral drugs work to lower the levels of HIV in your body.

Uses

Stribild and Biktarvy are both approved to treat HIV only in certain situations. Specifically, these drugs can be used in certain people who:

  • have never received treatment for HIV in the past
  • are replacing a different HIV treatment and who meet certain criteria

For more information about Stribild is used, see the “Stribild uses” section below. And to learn more about how Biktarvy is used, check the drug’s prescribing information.

Both drugs are complete HIV treatment regimens. This means that they don’t need to be taken with other HIV treatments.

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

Biktarvy is approved for use in adults and in children of any age who weigh at least 55 lb (25 kg).

Drug forms and administration

Stribild and Biktarvy both come as tablets that are taken by mouth. Both drugs are typically taken once per day, at the same time each day.

Stribild is taken with food. But Biktarvy can be taken with or without food.

Side effects and risks

Stribild and Biktarvy both contain drugs that treat HIV. For this reason, these medications can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones, as well. 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 Stribild or Biktarvy, as well as mild side effects that both drugs may share.

  • Can occur with Stribild:
    • rash
  • Can occur with Biktarvy:
    • few unique mild side effects
  • Can occur with both Stribild and Biktarvy:

Serious side effects

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

* Stribild and Biktarvy have boxed warnings for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. For more information, see the “Stribild side effects” section above.

Effectiveness

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

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

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Stribild generally costs more than Biktarvy. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

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

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 Stribild, 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 to treat HIV include:

  • nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, such as emtricitabine (Emtriva) and tenofovir (Viread)
  • non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, such as doravirine (Pifeltro) and etravirine (Intelence)
  • protease inhibitors, such as darunavir (Prezista) and atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • enfuvirtide (Fuzeon)
  • maraviroc (Selzentry)
  • abacavir/dolutegravir/lamivudine (Triumeq)
  • bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Biktarvy)
  • efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Atripla)
  • emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir alafenamide (Odefsey)
  • emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Complera)
  • emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy)
  • emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)
  • elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Genvoya)

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

But severe liver problems, such as liver disease, are a possible side effect of Stribild. And since alcohol is broken down by the liver, drinking alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems. (See the “Stribild side effects” section above for more details.)

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

Stribild can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements and certain foods.

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. (See the “Stribild side effects” section above for details about possible side effects of the drug.)

Stribild and other medications

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

Before taking Stribild, 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 questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Stribild and certain drugs that affect its breakdown

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

Examples of these drugs include:

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

Examples of these drugs include:

Before starting Stribild, talk with your doctor about any drugs you currently take. Your doctor can help make sure your other medications are safe to take with Stribild.

Stribild and certain drugs whose breakdown is affected by it

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

Examples of these drugs include:

Also, taking Stribild may also increase your risk for side effects from other drugs. This can happen because Stribild can block the activity of enzymes that break these drugs down in your body. This raises the levels of these drugs in your blood.

Examples of these drugs include:

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about all medications that you take before starting Stribild. They can determine if any of your medications may interact with Stribild.

Stribild and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Taking high doses or multiple doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) while taking Stribild can increase your risk for kidney problems. This is because taking NSAIDs can prevent your kidneys from getting rid of Stribild. This leads to a buildup of Stribild in the body. And this increases your risk for kidney side effects. These problems may include acute kidney failure, which is serious. (See “Kidney problems” in the “Stribild side effects” section above for more details.)

Examples of NSAIDs that shouldn’t be taken in high doses or multiple doses with Stribild include:

Talk with your doctor about the dosage of NSAIDs that’s safe for you to take while using Stribild. If your doctor approves, it may be safe for you to take low doses of NSAIDs as needed during Stribild treatment.

Stribild and other antiretroviral medications

Stribild is an antiretroviral drug for HIV treatment. Antiretroviral drugs work to lower the levels of HIV in your body.

Stribild is a complete HIV treatment regimen. This means that the drug doesn’t need to be taken with other HIV treatments. For this reason, potential interactions between Stribild and other antiretrovirals haven’t been studied.

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

Stribild and herbs and supplements

Avoid taking the herbal supplement St. John’s wort during your Stribild treatment. Taking Stribild with St. John’s wort may lower the levels of Stribild 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 Stribild.

Stribild and foods

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

Stribild is approved to treat HIV in certain adults and in children ages 12 years and older.*

HIV is a virus that destroys cells in your immune system that fight infections. Having HIV increases your risk for serious life threatening infections.

A goal of HIV treatment is to decrease your viral load to a level so low that it’s undetectable on tests. Viral load is the amount of virus in your blood. Having a very low viral load can stop the virus from spreading to another person.

Drugs that work to decrease viral load, including Stribild, are called antiretroviral drugs. Stribild specifically works to treat HIV by stopping the virus from replicating (copying itself and making more virus). By stopping the virus from replicating, Stribild can decrease viral load.

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

How long does it take to work?

Stribild starts working right away to treat your HIV. Since Stribild lowers your blood levels of HIV, you may not notice the drug working in your body. But your doctor will likely monitor your HIV levels every couple of weeks to make sure the drug is working for you.

With any HIV drug, including Stribild, it generally takes 8 to 24 weeks to reach an undetectable HIV viral load. This means having a virus level that’s undetectable on tests. Having an undetectable viral load lowers your risk for infections. It also lowers the risk of HIV spreading to another person.

Don’t use more Stribild 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 Stribild

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.

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

When to take

You’ll typically take Stribild once per day, at the same time each day. Taking Stribild at the same time every day helps keep steady amounts of the drug in your system over time. And this can reduce your risk for side effects and help Stribild work consistently 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. A kitchen timer can also work.

Taking Stribild with food

Stribild should be taken with food. Taking the drug with food helps make sure that your body absorbs enough of the drug for it to be effective. Stribild may be taken with a snack or with a full meal.

Can Stribild be crushed, split, or chewed?

No, Stribild shouldn’t be crushed, split, or chewed. You should swallow Stribild tablets whole. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have trouble swallowing Stribild tablets.

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

There isn’t enough data from clinical studies to determine if Stribild may cause congenital anomalies (birth defects) or miscarriage (loss of pregnancy) when taken during pregnancy. In animal studies, Stribild’s active drugs didn’t cause negative effects when given to pregnant females. Stribild’s active drugs also didn’t cause negative effects in offspring of pregnant females who were given the drug. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re exposed to Stribild during pregnancy, consider enrolling in a pregnancy registry. Pregnancy registries collect information about drug use during pregnancy to help doctors learn more about the drug’s safety. You can get more information by visiting the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry website or calling 800-258-­4263.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant while using Stribild, talk with your doctor. They can discuss different treatment options for your condition.

* In addition to elvitegravir and cobicistat, Stribild also contains the active drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

Stribild use during pregnancy isn’t recommended. 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 Stribild.

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

For females using Stribild

If you take hormonal birth control, Stribild can increase the levels of birth control hormones in your body. This can increase your risk for side effects from hormonal birth control, such as acne or blood clots in a deep vein. For this reason, you should consider using nonhormonal birth control while taking Stribild.

Examples of nonhormonal birth control methods include:

If you have questions about what form of birth control to use during Stribild treatment, talk with your doctor.

For males using Stribild

Stribild’s manufacturer hasn’t provided birth control recommendations for males taking the drug. If you’re a male taking Stribild and your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while taking the drug.

Stribild shouldn’t be taken while breastfeeding.

Elvitegravir and cobicistat (two of the active drugs in Stribild*) can pass into breast milk. And this can put a breastfed child at risk for exposure to the drug, as well as potential side effects.†

Also, breastfeeding a child who has HIV while you’re taking Stribild can increase the child’s risk for developing resistance to Stribild treatment. Treatment resistance happens when a drug isn’t effective at preventing HIV from multiplying in the body.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with HIV avoid breastfeeding. The CDC makes this recommendation to prevent HIV from spreading to the breastfed child.

If you have questions about feeding your child when you have HIV or are taking Stribild, talk with your doctor.

* In addition to elvitegravir and cobicistat, Stribild also contains the active drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.
† For more information about potential side effects, see the “Stribild side effects” section above.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Stribild.

Does Stribild cure HIV?

No, Stribild won’t cure HIV. There currently isn’t a cure for this condition.

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

Having a very low viral load can prevent the virus from spreading to another person. In clinical studies, Stribild was effective in decreasing viral loads to undetectable levels. (For more information, see the “Stribild uses” section above.)

If you have questions about what to expect from Stribild treatment, talk with your doctor.

Can Stribild help prevent HIV?

Yes, in certain situations, your doctor may prescribe Stribild to help prevent HIV. This is an off-label use for Stribild. Off-label use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Stribild is approved to treat HIV in certain adults and in children ages 12 years and older.)

Post-exposure prophylaxis is the short-term use of an antiretroviral drug to help prevent you from getting HIV after you’ve been exposed to the virus. Stribild is sometimes used for this purpose.

Stribild may also be used off-label for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is the long-term use of an antiretroviral drug to help prevent you from getting HIV before you’ve been exposed to the virus.

If you have questions about using Stribild to help prevent HIV, talk with your doctor.

Will I be able to use Stribild if I have bone or liver problems?

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take Stribild if you have bone problems or liver problems.

Taking Stribildcan increase your risk for liver problems or make existing liver problems worse. Liver problems caused by Stribild can include enlarged liver or fatty liver disease.

And if you have a history of bone fractures, osteoporosis, or bone loss, taking Stribild may worsen any bone problems you already have.

For more information about possible bone or liver side effects, see the “Stribild side effects” section above.

Besides taking Stribild, how else can I protect my partner from getting HIV?

Stribild works to decrease your HIV viral load to a level so low that it’s undetectable on tests. (Viral load is the amount of virus in your blood.) And having a very low viral load can prevent the virus from spreading to another person.

There may be other steps you can take to protect your partner from HIV exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following options for protecting a partner from getting HIV:

  • use a condom or other barrier method every time you have sex
  • try to limit your number of sexual partners
  • don’t share needles with anyone
  • don’t have sex

If you have questions about ways to prevent the spread of HIV, talk with your doctor.

Will I need to have any lab tests done before or during Stribild treatment?

Yes. You’ll likely have the following lab tests done before and during Stribild treatment:

You’ll likely have these tests because taking Stribild can increase your risk for liver problems and kidney problems. And in people who have both HIV and HBV, stopping Stribild can lead to a worsening of HBV. In fact, Stribild has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

For more information about these possible side effects, see the “Stribild side effects” section above. And if you have questions about lab tests you may have while taking Stribild, talk with your doctor.

Why is it important that my supply of Stribild doesn’t run out?

It’s important that you don’t miss a dose of Stribild.

A missed dose can result in your HIV becoming resistant to Stribild. This means that the drug may not be as effective in treating your HIV.

For this reason, be sure to get a refill of Stribild from your doctor or pharmacy as soon as your supply starts to run low. Doing this will help make sure you have plenty of Stribild tablets available so that you don’t miss a dose. Don’t wait until you’re completely out of the medication to refill your prescription.

If you have concerns or questions about making sure your supply of Stribild doesn’t run out, talk with your doctor.

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warning: Worsening hepatitis B

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.

In people who have both HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV), stopping Stribild can cause an existing HBV infection to get worse. This can lead to other problems, such as liver failure. For this reason, your doctor will likely test you for HBV before you start taking Stribild. You also shouldn’t stop taking Stribild without first talking with your doctor.

If you have HBV and your doctor says it’s safe for you to stop taking Stribild, you’ll likely have liver function tests for several months after you stop the drug. And if your HBV worsens after stopping Stribild, your doctor may prescribe HBV treatment.

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

Other precautions

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

  • Poor kidney function. Stribild shouldn’t be taken if you have poor kidney function or other kidney problems. Doing this can increase your risk for kidney problems, such as acute kidney failure, after taking Stribild. Tell your doctor if you have poor kidney function before starting Stribild. They may recommend a different treatment for your HIV.
  • Poor liver function. Stribild shouldn’t be taken if you have poor liver function or other liver problems. Doing this can increase your risk for liver problems after taking Stribild. These problems can include enlarged liver or fatty liver disease. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have poor liver function before starting Stribild. And if you have poor liver function, your doctor will likely recommend an HIV treatment other than Stribild.
  • Bone problems. Before starting treatment with Stribild, tell your doctor if you have a history of any bone problems. This may include any bone fractures, osteoporosis, or bone loss. Taking Stribild can cause bone loss and may worsen any bone problems that you already have. Your doctor may recommend a different treatment for your HIV if you have a history of bone problems. Or, they may suggest ways to reduce your risk for side effects that can affect your bones.
  • Depression or mental health conditions. If you have a history of mental health conditions, such as depression, you may have a higher risk for suicidal thoughts or actions after taking Stribild. Suicidal thoughts or actions occurred in rare cases in clinical studies of Stribild. But this only occurred in people who had a history of a mental health condition. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of these conditions before starting treatment with this drug. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a treatment other than Stribild for your HIV. And if you have suicidal thoughts or actions while you’re taking Stribild, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Stribild or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take the drug. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. Stribild shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Stribild and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. You shouldn’t breastfeed while using Stribild. For more information, see the “Stribild and breastfeeding” section above.

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

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.

When you get Stribild 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, talk to your pharmacist about if you can use it.

Storage

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

Stribild tablets should be stored in their original container. Ideally, the drug should be stored at a room temperature of 77°F (25°C). Under certain conditions (such as when traveling), Stribild tablets can be stored at temperatures of 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).

Stribild’s container should be kept tightly closed and stored away from light. Also, avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as in bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Stribild 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 prevent 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.

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.