Q and A


What happens if don’t take Atripla on an empty stomach?

Hello! I take Atripla and I need to take it on an empty stomach. I am just wondering what happens when I don’t take it on an empty stomach and how long after a meal is the stomach empty?


Thank you for your question.

Eating before taking Atripla will not stop it from working.

When the drug instructions say take Atripla on an empty stomach, it does not mean that you have to feel physically empty or hungry. That is why the recommendation is to take your medication after about 2 hours without eating. A cup of tea and a biscuit an hour before you take your medication should be fine.

One of the reasons why they recommend taking it on an empty stomach is because a high fat mean can increase the drug levels of efavirenz  to 60%. This can then increase the side effects. Nearly all other foods are fine, just leave a couple of hours when the meal is high fat. [efavirenz is one of the drugs contained in Atripla].

Some people find that they can eat and take Atripla almost straight after without experiencing side effects. However, as people are individuals and react differently to treatment, others find that eating and taking Atripla straight after, gives them nausea, vomitting or diarrhoea.

Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.


  1. Hi Catherine,

    The recommendation is usually to wait 2 hours after food so 10:15 is fine.

    You can find more information about Atripla and side effects in the answer to the question above.

  2. Im eating at 8pm an I take atripla at 10:15pm is that good?

  3. Hi Liza

    HIV meds shouldn’t make ulcers any worse.

    Please speak to your doctor about this, as this doesn’t sound like a side effect.

  4. I started using Tribuss for a month, now i am using Odimune. I have problem with acid before I started the medication, I just find out that I have ulcers. I want to know if this is side effect and i have been using ulcer treatment for 3wks but I still experience the samething every morning. Please help!

  5. Hi Anda,
    Taking odimune together with high fat foods can make side effects worse so it’s a good idea to try and avoid eating anything high fat (like chocolates) after 8.30pm if you are taking your meds at 10.30pm. This might make side effects easier.

    Having fits is not a normal side effect of treatment. It is very important that you talk to the doctor about this again and try to find out what is causing this. This may be a sign of another health condition which is not related to HIV.

  6. I started taken odimune last year Dec I was never told about I have to take it on an empty stomach! I take it at10;30 pm. We have supper at7/8 after I will have snacks like Simba chocolates and sweets! I expirience more side affects my body will shake as if I’m having fits I went back to my clinic asked my dr she didn’t know why I had that

  7. Hi Nokuthula,
    Tribuss contains a drug called efavirenz. When you take efavirenz at the same time as a high-fat meal you can experience more difficult side effects than when you take it on an empty stomach. It’s generally a good idea to leave at least 2 hours between when you take it and any high fat food. Most people take Tribuss at night, just before bed, as this can make side effects like dizziness or mood changes- also common with efavirenz- easier to deal with.

    Generally side effects are worst in the first few weeks and will naturally improve after a month or two. Are you experiencing any other side effects?

    Changing to take your meds 2 hours before or after food might improve these side effects further, although this isn’t guaranteed. If you are worried about this it is a good idea to discuss this with your clinic and ask for their advice.

  8. Hi there, i just started taking odimune. I have been taking it for 1 month and I am now having alot of pimples in my face. When I started I normally ate before taking them, but a week ago I googled it and I found out that I must take it on an empty stomach so I changed to take it on an empty stomach now and the pimples are getting less day by day. Now i take the by 8:30pm then by 9:00pm I start eating my supper, do u think is it good to do it like this way?..plz help am still new on it and am afraid of more side effects.

  9. Hi

    There is no problem taking Atripla one hour after supper. You do not need to change the way you currently take it.

    If you are not getting side effect now, there this is also no reason to change.

    It is better to take Atripla just before you go to sleep, so this is another reason to take it after you eat, rather than before.

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