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Drug Resistance | SYMTUZA® (darunavir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide)

What is drug resistance and why is it important?

Drug resistance occurs when HIV is given an opportunity to mutate or “outsmart” your medication making it no longer work effectively. This can be caused by forgetting a dose of medication

Missing just a few doses of HIV treatment can cause HIV drug resistance, which means:

  • Your current HIV medication may stop working*
  • Your future treatment options may become limited
  • HIV drug resistance can also be passed on to others

*This could cause your viral load to go up and CD4+ cell counts to go down, weakening your immune system.

This is what happens when you miss doses.

Graph showing viral load over time comparing between before treatment, taking treatment as prescribed, and when missing doses

Usual reasons to miss a dose:

There are many things that could make it difficult to take your HIV treatment every single day at the same time or exactly how your healthcare provider prescribes, like:

  • Traveling or spending the night away from home.
  • Unpredictable work schedules
  • Having a hard time establishing routines
  • Wanting to keep your HIV status private
  • Being spontaneous with plans

High resistance barrier and darunavir.

SYMTUZA® has an ingredient called darunavir which can help reduce your risk of drug resistance. To maintain an undetectable viral load, a treatment with darunavir might be a good choice for you. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if SYMTUZA® and its high barrier to drug resistance may be right for you.

Do not miss a dose of SYMTUZA®. When your SYMTUZA® supply starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your body may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to SYMTUZA® and become harder to treat.

What can you do?

Taking your medication at the same time every day isn’t always easy, but it’s not impossible. Reach out to those around you for support. Establish a regimen that helps you take your dose at the same time every day and talk to your healthcare provider about other ways you can remind yourself.

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