emtricitabine (FTC)

em-tri-SIT-uh-been (EFF-tee-see)

  • Emtricitabine is also called FTC – (tradename Emtriva) is a nucleoside analogue.
  • Standard adult dose: 1 x 200 mg capsule, once daily.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Side effects: generally well tolerated, no common side effects.
  • Other notes. FTC is very similar to 3TC. Do not take FTC and 3TC together (Truvada includes FTC). Although the two drugs are similar, some people who switch from 3TC to FTC report side effects sufficient to switch back to 3TC.
  • Early studies included reports of rash and skin pigment changes in Black patients. This was reported as a darker rash especially on the hands and feet. However, after the drug was approved and very widely used, this does not appear to be a common problem.
  • FTC is also active against hepatitis B.
  • FTC is included in coformulations; with TDF in Truvada, and with TAF in Descovy.
  • FTC is included in several fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) including Atripla, Stribild and Genvoya.

Further information

The European patient information and detailed Product Information for FTC are available from this link on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website.

The Patient Information is a simplified summary: what the drug is, why it is used, results from studies and cautions including side effects.

The Product Information is a detailed technical summary that you can access as a PDF file by clicking the ‘Product Information’ tab. It describes more precisely how the drug works and how it is processed by your body. This includes, for example, reported food interaction studies in terms of calories or fat content. It includes more details of the study results and a full list of side effects and drug interactions.