DESCOVY® (emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide) tablets
DESCOVY (emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide) is a fixed dose combination tablet containing emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) for oral administration.
- FTC, a synthetic nucleoside analog of cytidine, is an HIV nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (HIV NRTI).
- TAF, an HIV NRTI, is converted in vivo to tenofovir, an acyclic nucleoside phosphonate (nucleotide) analog of adenosine 5′-monophosphate.
Each 200/25 mg tablet contains 200 mg of FTC and 25 mg of TAF (equivalent to 28 mg of tenofovir alafenamide fumarate) and the following inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose. The tablets are film-coated with a coating material containing indigo carmine aluminum lake, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Emtricitabine: The chemical name of FTC is 4-amino-5-fluoro-1-(2Rhydroxymethyl-1,3-oxathiolan-5S-yl)-(1H)-pyrimidin-2-one. FTC is the (-)enantiomer of a thio analog of cytidine, which differs from other cytidine analogs in that it has a fluorine in the 5 position. FTC has a molecular formula of C8H10FN3O3S and a molecular weight of 247.24
Tenofovir Alafenamide: The chemical name of tenofovir alafenamide fumarate drug substance is L-alanine, N-[(S)-[[(1R)-2-(6-amino-9H-purin-9-yl)-1-methylethoxy]methyl]phenoxyphosphinyl]-, 1-methylethyl ester, (2E)-2- butenedioate (2:1). Tenofovir alafenamide fumarate has an empirical formula of C21H29O5N6P•½(C4H4O4) and a formula weight of 534.50
Indications and usage
HIV-1 Treatment: DESCOVY is a two-drug combination of emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), both HIV nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), and is indicated:
- in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients weighing at least 35 kg.
- in combination with other antiretroviral agents other than protease inhibitors that require a CYP3A inhibitor for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in pediatric patients weighing at least 25 kg and less than 35 kg
HIV-1 PrEP: DESCOVY is indicated in at-risk adults and adolescents weighing at least 35 kg for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection from sexual acquisition, excluding individuals at risk from receptive vaginal sex. Individuals must have a negative HIV-1 test immediately prior to initiating DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP.
Limitations of Use: The indication does not include use of DESCOVY in individuals at risk of HIV-1 from receptive vaginal sex because effectiveness in this population has not been evaluated.
Dosage and administration
Testing: Prior to or when initiating DESCOVY, test for hepatitis B virus infection. Prior to or when initiating DESCOVY, and during use on a clinically appropriate schedule, assess serum creatinine, estimated creatinine clearance, urine glucose, and urine protein in all individuals. In individuals with chronic kidney disease, also assess serum phosphorus.
HIV-1 Screening: Screen all individuals for HIV-1 infection immediately prior to initiating DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP and at least once every 3 months while taking DESCOVY, and upon diagnosis of any other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Treatment of HIV-1 Infection: One tablet taken once daily with or without food in patients with body weight at least 25 kg.
- HIV-1 PrEP: One tablet taken once daily with or without food in individuals with body weight at least 35 kg.
Renal impairment: DESCOVY is not recommended in individuals with estimated creatinine clearance of 15 to below 30 mL per minute, or below 15 mL per minute who are not receiving chronic hemodialysis.
Mechanism of Action
Emtricitabine: FTC, a synthetic nucleoside analog of cytidine, is phosphorylated by cellular enzymes to form emtricitabine 5′-triphosphate. Emtricitabine 5′-triphosphate inhibits the activity of the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase by competing with the natural substrate deoxycytidine 5′-triphosphate and by being incorporated into nascent viral DNA which results in chain termination. Emtricitabine 5′-triphosphate is a weak inhibitor of mammalian DNA polymerases α, β, Ɛ, and mitochondrial DNA polymerase γ.
Tenofovir Alafenamide: TAF is a phosphonoamidate prodrug of tenofovir (2’-deoxyadenosine monophosphate analog). Plasma exposure to TAF allows for permeation into cells and then TAF is intracellularly converted to tenofovir through hydrolysis by cathepsin A. Tenofovir is subsequently phosphorylated by cellular kinases to the active metabolite tenofovir diphosphate. Tenofovir diphosphate inhibits HIV-1 replication through incorporation into viral DNA by the HIV reverse transcriptase, which results in DNA chain-termination.
Tenofovir has activity against HIV-1. Cell culture studies have shown that both tenofovir and FTC can be fully phosphorylated when combined in cells. Tenofovir diphosphate is a weak inhibitor of mammalian DNA polymerases that include mitochondrial DNA polymerase γ and there is no evidence of toxicity to mitochondria in cell culture.
DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP is contraindicated in individuals with unknown or positive HIV-1 status
Warnings and precautions
Comprehensive management to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV-1, when DESCOVY is used for HIV-1 PrEP: Counsel on adherence to daily dosing and safer sex practices, including condoms, to reduce the risk of STIs.
Management to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV-1 drug resistance when DESCOVY is used for HIV-1 PrEP: refer to full prescribing information for additional detail.
Immune reconstitution syndrome during treatment of HIV-1 infection: May necessitate further evaluation and treatment.
New onset or worsening renal impairment: Assess serum creatinine, estimated creatinine clearance, urine glucose, and urine protein when initiating DESCOVY and during use on a clinically appropriate schedule in all individuals. Also assess serum phosphorus in individuals with chronic kidney disease.
Lactic acidosis/severe hepatomegaly with steatosis: Discontinue DESCOVY in individuals who develop symptoms or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity.
Severe Acute Exacerbation of Hepatitis B in Individuals with HBV Infection: All individuals should be tested for the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) before or when initiating DESCOVY
Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B (e.g., liver decompensation and liver failure) have been reported in HBV-infected individuals who have discontinued products containing FTC and/or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and may occur with discontinuation of DESCOVY. Individuals infected with HBV who discontinue DESCOVY should be closely monitored with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months after stopping treatment. If appropriate, anti-hepatitis B therapy may be warranted, especially in individuals with advanced liver disease or cirrhosis, since post-treatment exacerbation of hepatitis may lead to hepatic decompensation and liver failure. HBV-uninfected individuals should be offered vaccination.
In HIV-1 infected patients, the most common adverse reaction (incidence greater than or equal to 10%, all grades) was nausea.
In HIV-1 uninfected adults in a PrEP trial, the most common adverse reaction (incidence greater than or equal to 5%, all grades) was diarrhea.
Potential for Other Drugs to Affect One or More Components of DESCOVY: TAF, a component of DESCOVY, is a substrate of P-gp, BCRP, OATP1B1, and OATP1B3. Drugs that strongly affect P-gp and BCRP activity may lead to changes in TAF absorption. Drugs that induce P-gp activity are expected to decrease the absorption of TAF, resulting in decreased plasma concentration of TAF, which may lead to loss of therapeutic effect of DESCOVY and development of resistance. Coadministration of DESCOVY with other drugs that inhibit P-gp and BCRP may increase the absorption and plasma concentration of TAF. TAF is not an inhibitor of CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, or UGT1A1. TAF is a weak inhibitor of CYP3A in vitro
Drugs Affecting Renal Function: Because FTC and tenofovir are primarily excreted by the kidneys by a combination of glomerular filtration and active tubular secretion, coadministration of DESCOVY with drugs that reduce renal function or compete for active tubular secretion may increase concentrations of FTC, tenofovir, and other renally eliminated drugs and this may increase the risk of adverse reactions. Some examples of drugs that are eliminated by active tubular secretion include, but are not limited to, acyclovir, cidofovir, ganciclovir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, aminoglycosides (e.g., gentamicin), and high-dose or multiple NSAIDs
Drugs without Clinically Significant Interactions with DESCOVY: Based on drug interaction studies conducted with the components of DESCOVY, no clinically significant drug interactions have been either observed or are expected when DESCOVY is combined with the following antiretroviral agents: atazanavir with ritonavir or cobicistat, darunavir with ritonavir or cobicistat, dolutegravir, efavirenz, ledipasvir, lopinavir/ritonavir, maraviroc, nevirapine, raltegravir, rilpivirine, and sofosbuvir. No clinically significant drug interactions have been either observed or are expected when DESCOVY is combined with the following drugs: buprenorphine, itraconazole, ketoconazole, lorazepam, methadone, midazolam, naloxone, norbuprenorphine, norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol, and sertraline.
Use in specific population
Pregnancy: Available data from the APR show no statistically significant difference in the overall risk of major birth defects for emtricitabine (FTC) or tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) compared with the background rate for major birth defects of 2.7% in a U.S. reference population of the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP).
Lactation: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that HIV-infected mothers not breastfeed their infants, to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1.
Based on limited data, FTC has been shown to be present in human breast milk; it is not known if TAF is present in human breast milk. Tenofovir has been shown to be present in the milk of lactating rats and rhesus monkeys after administration of TDF. It is not known if TAF is present in animal milk.
It is not known if DESCOVY affects milk production or has effects on the breastfed child. Because of the potential for: 1) HIV transmission (in HIV-negative infants); 2) developing viral resistance (in HIV-positive infants); and 3) adverse reactions in a breastfed infant similar to those seen in adults, instruct mothers not to breastfeed if they are taking DESCOVY for the treatment of HIV-1
Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of DESCOVY, in combination with other antiretroviral agents, for the treatment of HIV-1 infection was established in pediatric patients with body weight greater than or equal to 25 kg.
Safety and effectiveness of DESCOVY for treatment of HIV-1 infection in pediatric patients less than 25 kg have not been established.
Safety and effectiveness of DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP in at-risk adolescents weighing at least 35 kg, excluding individuals at risk from receptive vaginal sex, is supported by data from an adequate and well-controlled trial of DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP in adults with additional data from safety and pharmacokinetic studies in previously conducted trials with the individual drug products, FTC and TAF, with EVG+COBI, in HIV-1 infected adults and pediatric subjects.
Safety and effectiveness of DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP in pediatric patients less than 35 kg have not been established.
Geriatric Use: In clinical trials of an FTC+TAF-containing regimen for treatment of HIV-1, 80 of the 97 subjects enrolled aged 65 years and over received FTC+TAF and EVG+COBI. No differences in safety or efficacy have been observed between elderly subjects and adults between 18 and less than 65 years of age.
Renal Impairment: No dosage adjustment of DESCOVY is recommended in individuals with estimated creatinine clearance greater than or equal to 30 mL per minute, or in adults with ESRD (estimated creatinine clearance below 15 mL per minute) who are receiving chronic hemodialysis. On days of hemodialysis, administer the daily dose of DESCOVY after completion of hemodialysis treatment.
Hepatic Impairment: No dosage adjustment of DESCOVY is recommended in individuals with mild (Child-Pugh Class A) or moderate (Child-Pugh Class B) hepatic impairment.
DESCOVY has not been studied in individuals with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C)
No data are available on overdose of DESCOVY in patients. If overdose occurs, monitor the individual for evidence of toxicity. Treatment of overdose with DESCOVY consists of general supportive measures including monitoring of vital signs as well as observation of the clinical status of the individual.
Emtricitabine (FTC): Limited clinical experience is available at doses higher than the recommended dose of FTC in DESCOVY. In one clinical pharmacology study, single doses of FTC 1200 mg (6 times the FTC dose in DESCOVY) were administered to 11 subjects. No severe adverse reactions were reported. The effects of higher doses are not known.
Hemodialysis treatment removes approximately 30% of the FTC dose over a 3 hour dialysis period starting within 1.5 hours of FTC dosing (blood flow rate of 400 mL per minute and a dialysate flow rate of 600 mL per minute). It is not known whether FTC can be removed by peritoneal dialysis.
Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF): Limited clinical experience is available at doses higher than the recommended dose of TAF. A single dose of 125 mg TAF (5 times the TAF dose in 200/25 mg DESCOVY) was administered to 48 healthy subjects; no serious adverse reactions were reported. The effects of higher doses are unknown. Tenofovir is efficiently removed by hemodialysis with an extraction coefficient of approximately 54%.