What is in this leaflet
Read this leaflet carefully before you start taking VIREAD. Also, read it each time you get your VIREAD prescription refilled, in case something has changed.
This information does not take the place of talking with your doctor or pharmacist when you start this medicine and at check-ups. You should stay under a doctor’s care when taking VIREAD.
It is extremely important that you do not change or stop your medicine without first talking with your doctor or pharmacist (see HOW SHOULD I TAKE VIREAD and WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF VIREAD).
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about VIREAD.
What is VIREAD
VIREAD is an antiviral medication used to treat two different viruses; Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.
VIREAD is a type of medicine called a HBV polymerase inhibitor and a nucleotide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI).
How VIREAD works in the treatment of CHB
VIREAD is used to treat CHB (an infection with hepatitis B virus [HBV]) in adults and paediatric patients aged 12 years and older and weighing at least 35 kg.
VIREAD works by interfering with the normal working of enzymes (HBV DNA polymerase) that are essential for HBV to reproduce itself. VIREAD may help lower the amount of hepatitis B virus in your body by lowering the ability of the virus to multiply and infect new liver cells and can improve the inflammation and scar tissue caused by the hepatitis B virus in your liver. Lowering the amount of virus in your body may reduce the chance of developing cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
We do not know how long VIREAD may help treat your hepatitis. Sometimes viruses change in your body and medicines no longer work. This is called drug resistance.
How VIREAD works in the treatment of HIV-Infection
VIREAD is also used to treat HIV infection in adults and paediatric patients aged 12 years and older and weighing at least 35 kg. VIREAD is always used in combination with other anti-HIV medicines to treat people with HIV-1 infection.
HIV infection destroys CD4 (T) cells, which are important to the immune system. After a large number of T cells are destroyed, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) develops.
VIREAD helps to block HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, a chemical (enzyme) in your body that is needed for HIV-1 to multiply. VIREAD lowers the amount of HIV 1 in the blood (called viral load) and may help to increase the number of T cells (called CD4 cells). Lowering the amount of HIV-1 in the blood lowers the chance of death or infections that happen when your immune system is weak (opportunistic infections).
You do not have to have HIV-infection to be treated with VIREAD for HBV and vice versa.
Use in Children
VIREAD is for adults and paediatric patients aged 12 years and older and weighing at least 35 kg.
Does VIREAD cure HIV OR AIDS
VIREAD does not cure HIV infection or AIDS.
The long-term effects of VIREAD are not known at this time. People taking VIREAD may still get opportunistic infections or other conditions that happen with HIV-1 infection. Opportunistic infections are infections that develop because the immune system is weak. Some of these conditions are:
- herpes virus infections, and
- Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection.
Does VIREAD reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 or HBV to others
VIREAD does not reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 or HBV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.
Continue to practice safe sex and do not use or share dirty needles.
Before you take VIREAD
Who must not take it
Together with your doctor, you need to decide whether VIREAD is right for you.
Do not take VIREAD if you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet under the heading PRODUCT DESCRIPTION.
Do not take VIREAD if you are already taking any other medicines that contain the same active ingredients.
Do not take VIREAD if you are already taking adefovir dipivoxil to treat hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
Do not take VIREAD if you are already taking tenofovir alafenamide to treat HIV or hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant. The effects of VIREAD on pregnant women or their unborn babies are not known.
Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed if you are taking VIREAD. The active substance in this medicine (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) has been found in breast milk at low concentrations.
Do not breast-feed if you have HIV or HBV.
If you are a woman who has or will have a baby, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the best way to feed your baby. If your baby does not already have HIV or HBV, there is a chance that the baby can get HIV or HBV through breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems.
Tell your doctor if you have bone problems.
Tell your doctor if you have liver problems, including HBV and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Tell your doctor if you have HIV infection.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all your medical conditions.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines and dietary supplements.
Especially tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take:
- VOSEVI (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir), HARVONI (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) or EPCLUSA (sofosbuvir/ velpatasvir) to treat your HCV infection. These medicines may increase the amount of VIREAD in your blood, which could result in additional or more intense side effects (see SIDE EFFECTS).
- VIDEX, VIDEX EC (didanosine); VIREAD may increase the amount of VIDEX in your blood. You may need to be followed more carefully if you are taking VIDEX and VIREAD together. If you are taking VIDEX and VIREAD together, your doctor may need to reduce your dose of VIDEX
- REYATAZ (atazanavir sulfate) or KALETRA (lopinavir/ritonavir); These medicines may increase the amount of VIREAD in your blood, which could result in more side effects (see SIDE EFFECTS). You may need to be followed more carefully if you are taking VIREAD and REYATAZ or KALETRA together. VIREAD may decrease the amount of REYATAZ in your blood. If you are taking VIREAD and REYATAZ together you should also be taking NORVIR (ritonavir).
It is a good idea to keep a complete list of all the medicines that you take.
Make a new list when medicines are added or stopped. Give copies of this list to your doctor or pharmacist every time you visit your doctor or fill a prescription.
How to take VIREAD
Stay under a doctor’s care when taking VIREAD
Do not change your treatment or stop treatment without first talking with your doctor.
Take VIREAD exactly as your doctor prescribed it.
Follow the directions from your doctor or pharmacist, exactly as written on the label.
Set up a dosing schedule and follow it carefully.
How much to take
The usual dose of VIREAD is one tablet once a day.
If you have kidney problems, your doctor may recommend that you take VIREAD less frequently.
How to take it
VIREAD is best taken with a meal or just afterwards, however taking it without food should not reduce the effectiveness of the medicine.
If you are taking VIREAD to treat HIV or if you have HIV and HBV coinfection and are taking VIREAD, always take VIREAD in combination with other anti-HIV medicines. VIREAD and other medicines like VIREAD, may be less likely to work in the future if you are not taking VIREAD with other anti-HIV medicines because you may develop resistance to those medicines. If you have any questions about what medicines you should or should not be taking, please see your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have been given VIREAD to treat CHB, you are advised to get a HIV test before you start taking VIREAD and at any time after that when there is a chance you were exposed to HIV.
When your VIREAD supply starts to run low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to VIREAD, and may become harder to treat. If you are taking VIREAD to treat CHB, stopping treatment may result in very severe hepatitis and serious liver problems (see SIDE EFFECTS).
Only take medicine that has been prescribed specifically for you.
Do not give VIREAD to others or take medicine prescribed for someone else.
If you forget to take VIREAD
It is important that you do not miss any doses.
If you miss a dose of VIREAD, take it as soon as possible and then take your next scheduled dose at its regular time.
If it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Wait and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not double the next dose.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 131126), or in New Zealand the Poisons Centre (telephone 0800 764 766) or go to the accident and emergency department at your nearest hospital if you think you or anyone else may have taken too many VIREAD tablets. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. This may need urgent medical attention.
While you are taking VIREAD
Things you must not do
Do not breast-feed. See “Before you start to take it”
Things to be careful of
Some patients taking VIREAD have experienced dizziness. Make sure you know how you react to VIREAD before you drive a car, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy
In clinical studies in patients with HIV the most common side effects of VIREAD are:
Less common side effects of VIREAD are:
- flatulence (intestinal gas)
In clinical studies in patients with CHB the only common side effect of VIREAD is:
Marketing experience has shown other side effects reported since VIREAD has been marketed include:
- low blood phosphate
- shortness of breath
- increased liver enzymes
- increased amylase
- inflammation of the liver
- stomach pain
- inflammation of the pancreas
VIREAD may cause the following other side effects:
Some patients treated with VIREAD have had kidney problems. If you have had kidney problems in the past or need to take another drug that can cause kidney problems, your doctor may need to perform additional blood tests. Kidney problems may be associated with muscle problems and softening of the bones.
Changes in Bone Mineral Density
Laboratory tests show changes in the bones of patients treated with VIREAD. It is not known whether long-term use of VIREAD will cause damage to your bones. If you have had bone problems in the past, your doctor may need to perform additional tests or may suggest additional medication.
Some patients taking antiviral drugs like VIREAD have developed a condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up in the blood of lactic acid, the same substance that causes your muscles to burn during heavy exercise). Symptoms of lactic acidosis include nausea, vomiting, unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort, and weakness.
If you notice these symptoms or if your medical condition changes suddenly, call your doctor right away.
It is extremely important that you do not stop taking VIREAD without your doctor’s advice. If you have Hepatitis B infection or HIV and HBV infection together, you may have a “flare-up” of Hepatitis B if you stop taking VIREAD, where the disease suddenly returns in a worse way than before. This flare-up may lead to liver failure and possibly liver transplantation or death
After stopping VIREAD, tell your doctor immediately about any new, unusual, or worsening symptoms that you notice after stopping treatment. After you stop taking VIREAD, your doctor will still need to check your health and take blood tests to check your liver for several months.
There have been other side effects in patients taking VIREAD. However, these side effects may have been due to other medicines that patients were taking or to the illness itself.
Some of these side effects can be serious.
This list of side effects is not complete. If you have questions about side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
You should report any new or continuing symptoms to your doctor or pharmacist right away.
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to help you manage these side effects.
After taking VIREAD
Keep VIREAD and all other medications out of reach of children.
Store VIREAD at room temperature (below 25 °C).
It should remain stable until the expiration date printed on the label.
Do not keep your medicine in places that are too hot or cold.
Do not leave VIREAD in the car or on a window sill. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep your VIREAD tablets in the bottle with the cap tightly closed until you take them. If you take VIREAD tablets out of their pack they may not keep well.
Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need.
If you throw any medicines away make sure that children will not find them.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about this medicine or your condition. Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Consumer Medicine Information.
If you have any concerns about this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you information about this medicine that was written for doctors or pharmacists (Product Information/Data Sheet).
Do not use this medicine for a condition for which it was not prescribed.
Do not share this medicine with other people.
Do not use if seal over bottle opening is broken or missing.
What the tablets look like
VIREAD 300 mg film coated tablets are almond shaped and blue in colour.
The tablets are debossed (indented) on one side with “GILEAD” and “4331” and on the other side with “300”. VIREAD 300 mg tablets are supplied in bottles containing 30 tablets.
Each VIREAD tablet contains the following active ingredient:
- tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
Each VIREAD tablet also contains the following ingredients:
- croscarmellose sodium
- magnesium stearate
- microcrystalline cellulose
- pregelatinised maize starch
- indigo carmine aluminum lake (E132)
- titanium dioxide (E171)
VIREAD tablets are supplied in Australia by:
Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd
Level 6, 417 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, Victoria 3004
In New Zealand:
Gilead Sciences (NZ)
c/- Grant Thornton New Zealand Limited,
L4, 152 Fanshawe Street
Date of preparation: May 2021
AUST R 90370
VIREAD, VOSEVI, HARVONI and EPCLUSA are registered trademark of Gilead Sciences, Inc. Other brands listed are trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Published by MIMS July 2021