Let’s take the opportunity to review all PrEP medications used in Thailand. The basic principle is that the new PrEP formula is emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide or Descovy, and the prior PrEP formula is emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, which has a few available brands, such as Truvada, Ricovir-EM, Teno-EM, and Tenof EM.
PrEP Medication Review
PrEP Medication – Truvada
Truvada is a PrEP medication manufactured by Gilead and has been approved since 2012 by US FDA for use as a medication to prevent HIV infection or PrEP. Subsequently, there are other generic medications (medications with the same formula as the original medication) available, such as Ricovir-EM (Mylan), Teno-EM (GPO), Tenof EM (Camber). All of these medications mentioned have the same compound, consisting of two antiviral drugs (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), with minor differences in term of side effects since they have the same formula. However, the price of Truvada is higher than others because it is the original medication.
PrEP Medication – Descovy
As for Descovy medication, which is also manufactured by Gilead like Truvada, it has been approved for use as PrEP medication since 2019. Descovy (emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide) is a formula upgraded from Truvada, and you can see that the names of the formulas are quite similar. However, if Descovy is taken for a long period, it has fewer side effects on the body than Truvada because tenofovir alafenamide (or simply TAF) has lower drug levels in the extracellular compartment compared to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (or simply TDF). Therefore, it is considered safer for the body if taken continuously.
Patients who take PrEP medication continuously for a long period should be tested for sexually transmitted infections regularly because PrEP medication does not prevent other non-HIV infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, as well as hepatitis C. In addition, kidney and liver function tests should be conducted, especially kidney function tests, as tenofovir medication may have an impact on kidney function in some patients.
How to Use PrEP Medication
There are two methods of using PrEP medication: conventional, which is taking it daily, or on-demand, which is taking it when there is a risk. In any case, PrEP users should consult with experts to choose the type or brand of PrEP medication and the method of medication use that is suitable and fits their lifestyle.
For those who are interested or would like to inquire about additional information on PrEP medication, you can contact Glove Clinic through Line Official (@gloveclinic) or message them on the Glove Clinic page, or call 092-414-9254.