VEMLIDY® (tenofovir alafenamide) tablets

VEMLIDY® (tenofovir alafenamide) tablets

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VEMLIDY® (tenofovir alafenamide) tablets

VEMLIDY is a tablet containing tenofovir alafenamide for oral administration. Tenofovir alafenamide, a hepatitis B virus (HBV) nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor, is converted in vivo to tenofovir, an acyclic nucleoside phosphonate (nucleotide) analog of adenosine 5′-monophosphate.

Each tablet contains 25 mg of tenofovir alafenamide (equivalent to 28 mg of tenofovir alafenamide fumarate). The tablets include the following inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose. The tablets are film coated with a coating material containing: iron oxide yellow, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.

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).

It has an empirical formula of C21H29O5N6P•½(C4H4O4) and a formula weight of 534.50.

Indications and usage

VEMLIDY is a hepatitis B virus (HBV) nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor and is indicated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection in adults with compensated liver disease.

Dosage and administration

  • Testing: Prior to initiation of VEMLIDY, test patients for HIV infection. VEMLIDY alone should not be used in patients with HIV infection. Prior to or when initiating VEMLIDY, and during treatment on a clinically appropriate schedule, assess serum creatinine, estimated creatinine clearance, urine glucose, and urine protein in all patients. Also assess serum phosphorus in patients with chronic kidney disease.
  • Recommended dosage: 25 mg (one tablet) taken orally once daily with food.
  • Renal Impairment: VEMLIDY is not recommended in patients with estimated creatinine clearance below 15 mL per minute who are not receiving chronic hemodialysis. In patients on chronic hemodialysis, on hemodialysis days, administer VEMLIDY after hemodialysis.
  • Hepatic Impairment: VEMLIDY is not recommended in patients with decompensated (Child-Pugh B or C) hepatic impairment.

Mechanism of Action

Tenofovir alafenamide is a phosphonamidate prodrug of tenofovir (2’-deoxyadenosine monophosphate analog). Tenofovir alafenamide as a lipophilic cell-permeant compound enters primary hepatocytes by passive diffusion and by the hepatic uptake transporters OATP1B1 and OATP1B3. Tenofovir alafenamide is then converted to tenofovir through hydrolysis primarily by carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) in primary hepatocytes. Intracellular tenofovir is subsequently phosphorylated by cellular kinases to the pharmacologically active metabolite tenofovir diphosphate. Tenofovir diphosphate inhibits HBV replication through incorporation into viral DNA by the HBV reverse transcriptase, which results in DNA chain-termination.

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.



Adverse reactions

  • Headache
  • Abdominal painc
  • Cough
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Arthralgia
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia

Warnings and precautions

Severe Acute Exacerbation of Hepatitis B after Discontinuation of Treatment: Discontinuation of anti-hepatitis B therapy, including VEMLIDY, may result in severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B. Patients who discontinue VEMLIDY should be closely monitored with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months after stopping treatment. If appropriate, resumption of anti-hepatitis B therapy may be warranted.

Risk of Development of HIV-1 Resistance in Patients Coinfected with HBV and HIV-1: Due to the risk of development of HIV-1 resistance, VEMLIDY alone is not recommended for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. The safety and efficacy of VEMLIDY have not been established in patients coinfected with HBV and HIV-1. HIV antibody testing should be offered to all HBV-infected patients before initiating therapy with VEMLIDY, and, if positive, an appropriate antiretroviral combination regimen that is recommended for patients coinfected with HIV-1 should be used.

New Onset or Worsening Renal Impairment: Postmarketing cases of renal impairment, including acute renal failure, proximal renal tubulopathy (PRT), and Fanconi syndrome have been reported with TAF-containing products; while most of these cases were characterized by potential confounders that may have contributed to the reported renal events, it is also possible these factors may have predisposed patients to tenofovir-related adverse events.

Patients taking tenofovir prodrugs who have impaired renal function and those taking nephrotoxic agents, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are at increased risk of developing renal-related adverse reactions.

Lactic Acidosis/Severe Hepatomegaly with Steatosis: Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogs, including tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), another prodrug of tenofovir, alone or in combination with other antiretrovirals. Treatment with VEMLIDY should be suspended in any patient who develops clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity (which may include hepatomegaly and steatosis even in the absence of marked transaminase elevations).


Drug interactions

Potential for Other Drugs to Affect VEMLIDY: VEMLIDY is a substrate of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and BCRP. Drugs that strongly affect P-gp and BCRP activity may lead to changes in tenofovir alafenamide absorption. Drugs that induce P-gp activity are expected to decrease the absorption of tenofovir alafenamide, resulting in decreased plasma concentrations of tenofovir alafenamide, which may lead to loss of therapeutic effect of VEMLIDY. Coadministration of VEMLIDY with other drugs that inhibit P-gp and BCRP may increase the absorption and plasma concentration of tenofovir alafenamide.

Drugs Affecting Renal Function: Because tenofovir is primarily excreted by the kidneys by a combination of glomerular filtration and active tubular secretion, coadministration of VEMLIDY with drugs that reduce renal function or compete for active tubular secretion may increase concentrations of 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

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: Available data from the APR show no statistically significant difference in the overall risk of birth defects for tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) compared with the background rate for major birth defects of 2.7% in the U.S. reference population of the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP). The rate of miscarriage is not reported in the APR. The estimated background rate of miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies in the U.S. general population is 15% to 20%.

Lactation: It is not known whether VEMLIDY and its metabolites are present in human breast milk, affect human milk production, or have effects on the breastfed infant. 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 tenofovir alafenamide can be present in animal milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for VEMLIDY and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from VEMLIDY or from the underlying maternal condition.

Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness of VEMLIDY in pediatric patients less than 18 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric Use: In clinical trials, VEMLIDY was administered to 89 subjects aged 65 and over. No clinically significant differences in safety or efficacy have been observed between elderly subjects and subjects between 18 and less than 65 years of age.

Renal Impairment: No dosage adjustment of VEMLIDY is required in patients with mild, moderate, or severe renal impairment, or in patients with ESRD (estimated creatinine clearance below 15 mL per minute) who are receiving chronic hemodialysis. On days of hemodialysis, administer VEMLIDY after completion of hemodialysis treatment

Hepatic Impairment: No dosage adjustment of VEMLIDY is required in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A). The safety and efficacy of VEMLIDY in patients with decompensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh B or C) have not been established; therefore, VEMLIDY is not recommended in patients with decompensated (Child-Pugh B or C) hepatic impairment


If overdose occurs, monitor patient for evidence of toxicity. Treatment of overdosage with VEMLIDY consists of general supportive measures including monitoring of vital signs as well as observation of the clinical status of the patient. Tenofovir is efficiently removed by hemodialysis with an extraction coefficient of approximately 54%.

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