Q and A


Why have I been given Tribuss – is this an ARV?

I started taking Tribuss about two weeks ago.

I’d like to know what are the side effects of this medication and what is the difference between them and ARVs.

I was shocked when my doctor prescribed me with Tribuss instead of ARVs which I’m familiar with when people are HIV+?



Thanks for your email. How are you doing?

Tribuss is a pill that contains three HIV drugs (ARVs) – efavirenz, FTC and tenofovir DF.

It is one of the generic versions of the brand-name drug Atripla. For a picture of Tribuss see this link.

So your doctor has prescribed you ARVs, and this pill is very effective at treating HIV.

Side effects mainly related to the efavirenz. These include mood changes, sleep problems, vivid dreams (sometimes nightmares). Luckily, for most people, these usually get easier within the first few weeks. If not though, please talk to your doctor about different choices.

This link has more information about efavirenz side effects and how to manage them.

You guide is an Introduction to ART.

Because you are in South Africa, the Treatment Action Campaign may also have more information about treatment and support in SA.

Note: This answer was updated in February 2018 from a question first posted online in October 2013.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Leigh,

    i-base are based in the UK and in the UK you can’t buy ARVs. You’re going to need to get in touch with your local HIV organisation, they should be able to advise you.

  2. Leigh

    I lost my job and medical aid benefits.. Im on Efivarenz generic 600 mg. From next month i wanna buy it on my own. I do not wanna go to public hospital (personal reasons).. Where can i buy or should i consult with a Gp get a prescription first?

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Molebogeng,

    Triolar and Trubuss are both generic versions of Atripla, please see here: http://i-base.info/guides/1561 What this means is that they contain the same compounds.
    In many countries it’s common to be given different generic versions of Atripla. It is often an issue of supply. If you aren’t happy about being given different generic versions of basically the same medication, you’ll need to discuss this with your doctor.

  4. Molebogeng

    Hi, i just received an sms from Pharmacy Direct that they will supply me with Triolar in place of Tribuss, what is the difference between the two pills? Is it allowed that the pharmacy company used by my medical aid to just change my prescription? My doctor does not know about it and the medication they want to send me is not prescribed. Help.

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Zanele,

    Tribuss is a treatment for HIV. So this is very unusual if you are not HIV positive. Please contact your doctor and ask why you were given Tribuss.


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