DESCOVY tablets are available in two dose strengths:
- 200 mg/25 mg tablets: 200 mg of emtricitabine (FTC) and 25 mg of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) (equivalent to 28 mg of tenofovir alafenamide fumarate). These tablets are blue, rectangular-shaped, film-coated, debossed with “GSI” on one side and “225” on the other side.
- 120 mg/15 mg tablets: 120 mg of FTC and 15 mg of TAF (equivalent to 16.8 mg of tenofovir alafenamide fumarate). These tablets are white, round-shaped, film coated, debossed with “GSI” on one side and “15” on the other side.
DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP is contraindicated in individuals with unknown or positive HIV-1 status [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
All individuals should be tested for the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) before or when initiating DESCOVY [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].
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.
5.2 Comprehensive Management to Reduce the Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Including HIV-1, and Development of HIV-1 Resistance When DESCOVY Is Used for HIV-1 PrEP
Use DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy, including adherence to daily administration and safer sex practices, including condoms, to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The time from initiation of DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP to maximal protection against HIV-1 infection is unknown.
Risk for HIV-1 acquisition includes behavioral, biological, or epidemiologic factors including but not limited to condomless sex, past or current STIs, self-identified HIV risk, having sexual partners of unknown HIV-1 viremic status, or sexual activity in a high prevalence area or network.
Counsel individuals on the use of other prevention measures (e.g., consistent and correct condom use, knowledge of partner(s)’ HIV-1 status, including viral suppression status, regular testing for STIs that can facilitate HIV-1 transmission). Inform uninfected individuals about and support their efforts in reducing sexual risk behavior.
Use DESCOVY to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV-1 only in individuals confirmed to be HIV-1 negative. HIV-1 resistance substitutions may emerge in individuals with undetected HIV-1 infection who are taking only DESCOVY, because DESCOVY alone does not constitute a complete regimen for HIV-1 treatment [see Microbiology (12.4)]; therefore, care should be taken to minimize the risk of initiating or continuing DESCOVY before confirming the individual is HIV-1 negative.
- Some HIV-1 tests only detect anti-HIV antibodies and may not identify HIV-1 during the acute stage of infection. Prior to initiating DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP, ask seronegative individuals about recent (in past month) potential exposure events (e.g., condomless sex or condom breaking during sex with a partner of unknown HIV-1 status or unknown viremic status, or a recent STI), and evaluate for current or recent signs or symptoms consistent with acute HIV-1 infection (e.g., fever, fatigue, myalgia, skin rash).
- If recent (<1 month) exposures to HIV-1 are suspected or clinical symptoms consistent with acute HIV-1 infection are present, use a test approved or cleared by the FDA as an aid in the diagnosis of acute or primary HIV-1 infection.
While using DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP, HIV-1 testing should be repeated at least every 3 months, and upon diagnosis of any other STIs.
- If an HIV-1 test indicates possible HIV-1 infection, or if symptoms consistent with acute HIV-1 infection develop following a potential exposure event, convert the HIV-1 PrEP regimen to an HIV treatment regimen until negative infection status is confirmed using a test approved or cleared by the FDA as an aid in the diagnosis of acute or primary HIV-1 infection.
Counsel HIV-1 uninfected individuals to strictly adhere to the once daily DESCOVY dosing schedule. The effectiveness of DESCOVY in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV-1 is strongly correlated with adherence, as demonstrated by measurable drug levels in a clinical trial of DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP. Some individuals, such as adolescents, may benefit from more frequent visits and counseling to support adherence [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4), Microbiology (12.4), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].
Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in HIV-1 infected patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including FTC, a component of DESCOVY. During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, HIV-1 infected patients whose immune system responds may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections (such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia [PCP], or tuberculosis), which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.
Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves’ disease, polymyositis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and autoimmune hepatitis) have also been reported to occur in the setting of immune reconstitution; however, the time to onset is more variable, and can occur many months after initiation of treatment.
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 [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2)]. DESCOVY is not recommended in individuals with estimated creatinine clearance of 15 to below 30 mL per minute, or in individuals with estimated creatinine clearance below 15 mL per minute who are not receiving chronic hemodialysis.
Individuals 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.
Prior to or when initiating DESCOVY, and during treatment with DESCOVY 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. Discontinue DESCOVY in individuals who develop clinically significant decreases in renal function or evidence of Fanconi syndrome.
Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogs, including emtricitabine, a component of DESCOVY, and tenofovir DF, another prodrug of tenofovir, alone or in combination with other antiretrovirals. Treatment with DESCOVY should be suspended in any individual 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).
The following adverse reactions are discussed in other sections of the labeling:
- Severe Acute Exacerbations of Hepatitis B [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
- Immune Reconstitution Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
- New Onset or Worsening Renal Impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
- Lactic Acidosis/Severe Hepatomegaly with Steatosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug (or a drug given in various combinations with other concomitant therapy) cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug (or drug given in the same or different combination therapy) and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
Adverse Reactions in Clinical Trials of FTC+TAF with Elvitegravir (EVG) plus Cobicistat (COBI) in Treatment-Naïve Adults with HIV-1 Infection
In pooled 48-week trials of antiretroviral treatment-naïve HIV-1 infected adult subjects, the most common adverse reaction in subjects treated with FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI (N=866) (incidence greater than or equal to 10%, all grades) was nausea (10%). In this treatment group, 0.9% of subjects discontinued FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI due to adverse events during the 48-week treatment period [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. The safety profile was similar in virologically-suppressed adults with HIV-1 infection who were switched to FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI (N=799). Antiretroviral treatment-naïve adult subjects treated with FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI experienced mean increases of 30 mg/dL of total cholesterol, 15 mg/dL of LDL cholesterol, 7 mg/dL of HDL cholesterol, and 29 mg/dL of triglycerides after 48 weeks of use.
Renal Laboratory Tests
In two 48-week trials in antiretroviral treatment-naïve HIV-1 infected adults treated with FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI (N=866) with a median baseline eGFR of 115 mL per minute, mean serum creatinine increased by 0.1 mg per dL from baseline to Week 48. Median urine protein-to-creatinine ratio (UPCR) was 44 mg per gram at baseline and at Week 48. In a 48-week trial in virologically-suppressed TDF-treated adults who switched to FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI (N=959) with a mean baseline eGFR of 112 mL per minute, mean serum creatinine was similar to baseline at Week 48; median UPCR was 61 mg per gram at baseline and 46 mg per gram at Week 48. Across these trials, renal serious adverse events or discontinuations due to renal adverse reactions were encountered in less than 1% of participants treated with FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI.
In a 24-week trial in adults with renal impairment (baseline eGFR 30 to 69 mL per minute) who received FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI (N=248), mean serum creatinine was 1.5 mg per dL at both baseline and Week 24. Median UPCR was 161 mg per gram at baseline and 93 mg per gram at Week 24. FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI was permanently discontinued due to worsening renal function in two of 80 (3%) subjects.
Bone Mineral Density Effects
In the pooled analysis of two 48-week trials of antiretroviral treatment-naïve HIV-1 infected adult subjects, bone mineral density (BMD) from baseline to Week 48 was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Mean BMD decreased from baseline to Week 48 −1.30% with FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI at the lumbar spine and −0.66% at the total hip. BMD declines of 5% or greater at the lumbar spine were experienced by 10% of FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI subjects. BMD declines of 7% or greater at the femoral neck were experienced by 7% of FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI subjects. The long-term clinical significance of these BMD changes is not known.
In 799 virologically-suppressed TDF-treated adult subjects that switched to FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI, at Week 48 mean BMD increased (1.86% lumbar spine, 1.95% total hip). BMD declines of 5% or greater at the lumbar spine were experienced by 1% of FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI subjects. BMD declines of 7% or greater at the femoral neck were experienced by 1% of FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI subjects.
Adverse Reactions in a Clinical Trial of FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI in Virologically-Suppressed Adults with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Receiving Chronic Hemodialysis
In a 48-week trial of virologically-suppressed HIV-1 infected adult subjects with end stage renal disease (ESRD) (estimated creatinine clearance of less than 15 mL/min) on chronic hemodialysis treated with FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI (N=55), the most commonly reported adverse reaction (adverse event assessed as causally related by investigator and all grades) was nausea (7%). Serious adverse events were reported in 53% of subjects and the most common serious adverse events were pneumonia (13%), fluid overload (7%), hyperkalemia (7%) and osteomyelitis (7%). Overall 5% of subjects permanently discontinued treatment due to an adverse event.
Adverse Reactions in Clinical Trials in Pediatric Subjects with HIV-1 Infection
Pediatric Subjects Weighing at Least 25 kg:
The safety profile of FTC+TAF in pediatric subjects weighing at least 25 kg is informed by an open-label trial of antiretroviral treatment-naïve HIV-1 infected pediatric subjects between the ages of 12 to less than 18 years weighing at least 35 kg through 48 weeks (N=50; Cohort 1) and virologically-suppressed subjects between the ages of 6 to less than 12 years weighing at least 25 kg (N=52; Cohort 2). Subjects received FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI through 48 weeks. With the exception of a decrease in the mean CD4+ cell count observed in cohort 2, the safety of this combination was similar to that in adults.
Bone Mineral Density Effects
Cohort 1: Treatment-naïve adolescents (12 to less than 18 years; at least 35 kg)
Among the subjects in cohort 1 receiving FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI, mean BMD increased from baseline to Week 48, +4.2% at the lumbar spine and +1.3% for the total body less head (TBLH). Mean changes from baseline BMD Z-scores were −0.07 for lumbar spine and −0.20 for TBLH at Week 48. One subject had significant (at least 4%) lumbar spine BMD loss at Week 48.
Cohort 2: Virologically-suppressed children (6 to less than 12 years; at least 25 kg)
Among the subjects in cohort 2 receiving FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI, mean BMD increased from baseline to Week 48, +3.9% at the lumbar spine and +4.2% for TBLH. Mean changes from baseline BMD Z-scores were -0.24 for lumbar spine and -0.19 for TBLH at Week 48. Six subjects had significant (at least 4%) lumbar spine BMD loss at Week 48 and 2 subjects also had at least 4% TBLH BMD loss at Week 48.
Change from Baseline in CD4+ cell counts
Cohort 2: Virologically-suppressed children (6 to less than 12 years; at least 25 kg)
Cohort 2 evaluated pediatric subjects (N=52) who were virologically-suppressed and who switched from their antiretroviral regimen to FTC+TAF with EVG+COBI. Although all subjects had HIV-1 RNA < 50 copies/mL, there was a decrease from baseline in CD4+ cell count at Weeks 24 and 48. The mean baseline and mean change from baseline in CD4+ cell count and in CD4% from Week 2 to Week 48 are presented in Table 2. All subjects maintained their CD4+ cell counts above 400 cells/mm3 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
|Mean Change from Baseline|
|Baseline||Week 2||Week 4||Week 12||Week 24||Week 32||Week 48|
|CD4+ Cell Count (cells/mm3)||961 (275.5)*||-117||-114||-112||-118||-62||-66|
Pediatric Subjects Weighing at Least 14 to Less Than 25 kg:
In a separate open-label trial of virologically-suppressed subjects at least 2 years of age and weighing at least 14 to less than 25 kg (N=22; Cohort 3) who received FTC+TAF with bictegravir through 24 weeks, no new adverse reactions or laboratory abnormalities were identified compared to those observed in adults. In this trial, the mean (SD) change from baseline to Week 24 in CD4+ cell count was −126 (264) cells per mm3 and the mean (SD) change in CD4% from baseline to Week 24 was 0.2% (4.4%).
Adverse Reactions from Clinical Trial Experience in HIV-1 Uninfected Individuals Taking DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP
The safety profile of DESCOVY for HIV-1 PrEP was comparable to that observed in clinical trials of HIV-infected subjects based on a double-blind, randomized, active-controlled trial (DISCOVER) in which a total of 5,387 HIV-1 uninfected adult men and transgender women who have sex with men received DESCOVY (N=2,694) or TRUVADA (N=2,693) once daily for HIV-1 PrEP [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. Median duration of exposure was 86 and 87 weeks, respectively. The most common adverse reaction in participants who received DESCOVY (incidence greater than or equal to 5%, all grades) was diarrhea (5%). Table 3 provides a list of the most common adverse reactions that occurred in 2% or more of participants in either treatment group. The proportion of participants who discontinued treatment with DESCOVY or TRUVADA due to adverse events, regardless of severity, was 1.3% and 1.8%, respectively.
|Abdominal pain *||2%||3%|
Renal Laboratory Tests
Changes from baseline to Week 48 in renal laboratory data are presented in Table 4. The long-term clinical significance of these renal laboratory changes on adverse reaction frequencies between DESCOVY and TRUVADA is not known.
|eGFRCG =estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate by Cockcroft-Gault; UPCR=urine protein/creatinine ratio|
|Serum Creatinine (mg/dL)*|
|Change at Week 48||−0.01 (0.107)||0.01 (0.111)|
|Change at Week 48||1.8 (−7.2, 11.1)||−2.3 (−10.8, 7.2)|
|Percentage of Participants who Developed UPCR >200 mg/g ‡|
|At Week 48||0.7%||1.5%|
Bone Mineral Density Effects
In the DISCOVER trial, mean increases from baseline to Week 48 of 0.5% at the lumbar spine (N=159) and 0.2% at the total hip (N=158) were observed in participants receiving DESCOVY, compared to mean decreases of 1.1% at the lumbar spine (N=160) and 1.0% at the total hip (N=158) in participants receiving TRUVADA. BMD declines of 5% or greater at the lumbar spine and 7% or greater at the total hip were experienced by 4% and 1% of participants, respectively, in both treatment groups at Week 48. The long-term clinical significance of these BMD changes is not known.
Changes from baseline to Week 48 in total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol to HDL ratio are presented in Table 5.
|Baseline||Week 48||Baseline||Week 48|
|mg/dL||Change †||mg/dL||Change †|
|Total Cholesterol (fasted)||176 ‡||0 ‡||176 §||-12 §|
|HDL-Cholesterol (fasted)||51 ‡||-2 ‡||51 §||-5 §|
|LDL-Cholesterol (fasted)||103 ¶||0 ¶||103 #||-7 #|
|Triglycerides (fasted)||109 ‡||+9 ‡||111 §||-1 §|
|Total Cholesterol to HDL ratio||3.7 ‡||0.2 ‡||3.7 §||0.1 §|
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