Biktarvy and Genvoya are brand-name prescription drugs used to treat HIV. Both come as tablets that you take once per day. Neither drug is available as a generic.
This article explains the main ways that Biktarvy and Genvoya are alike and different. For more information about these drugs, including details about their uses, see the in-depth articles on Biktarvy and Genvoya.
Both Biktarvy and Genvoya are combination drugs that contain multiple active ingredients. Some of the active ingredients are available on their own as generics. For example, emtricitabine is available as a generic capsule.
A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredients in a brand-name medication. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
As you’ll see in the list below, Biktarvy and Genvoya are available only in brand-name versions.
- Available as a generic: no
- Active ingredients: bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide
- Available as a generic: no
- Active ingredients: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide
Biktarvy and Genvoya are both prescribed for adults and some children living with HIV. See the table below for details on who can take each drug. Children’s dosages are based on body weight and are listed in kilograms (kg). One kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds (lb).
|adults with HIV||✓||✓|
|children with HIV who weigh at least 25 kg||✓||✓|
|children with HIV who weigh at least 14 kg but less than 25 kg||✓|
To learn more about taking Biktarvy or Genvoya to treat HIV, talk with your doctor.
Biktarvy or Genvoya and children
Doctors can prescribe Genvoya for children who weigh at least 25 kg. And they can prescribe Biktarvy for children who weigh at least 14 kg.
For more information about the use of either drug in children, talk with your child’s doctor.
Here’s an overview of the dosage and how you’ll take Biktarvy and Genvoya for HIV. Strengths are listed in milligrams (mg).
Biktarvy is also used to treat HIV in children who weigh less than 25 kilograms (kg), but this use isn’t addressed below. To learn more about Biktarvy’s dosage for children of all body weights, see this article.
Dosage for HIV (for adults and children weighing at least 25 kg)
|Dosage detail||Biktarvy for HIV||Genvoya for HIV|
|form||tablet that you swallow||tablet that you swallow|
|strengths of emtricitabine*||200 mg||200 mg|
|strengths of tenofovir alafenamide*||25 mg||10 mg|
|different active ingredients†||bictegravir||elvitegravir cobicistat|
|dose||1 tablet||1 tablet|
|how often to take||once per day||once per day|
* Biktarvy and Genvoya are combination drugs. They both contain the active ingredients emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
† These are the active ingredients that are unique to each drug.
Biktarvy and Genvoya may cause side effects ranging from mild to serious.
Mild side effects
Biktarvy and Genvoya may cause mild side effects. The table below lists examples of mild side effects that have been reported with these drugs.
|flatulence (passing gas)||✓|
|indigestion (upset stomach)||✓|
|fatigue (low energy)||✓||✓|
|insomnia (trouble sleeping)||✓|
This table may not include all mild side effects of these drugs. For more information on mild side effects of the two drugs, see the Biktarvy’s prescribing information and Genvoya’s prescribing information.
Serious side effects
In addition to the mild side effects described above, serious side effects may occur in people using Biktarvy or Genvoya. See the table below for a list of side effects that have been reported with these drugs.
|reactivation of hepatitis B*||✓||✓|
|immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome||✓||✓|
|liver damage, including a buildup of lactic acid and enlarged liver||✓||✓|
To learn about your specific risk for serious side effects from Biktarvy or Genvoya, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* Biktarvy and Genvoya have a
† An allergic reaction is possible after taking Biktarvy or Genvoya. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.
You may wonder whether Biktarvy or Genvoya are effective for your condition.
Biktarvy and Genvoya are both prescribed to treat HIV. Studies of Biktarvy and Genvoya have shown that both drugs are effective for this use. In addition, the National Institute of Health Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council includes both drugs in its treatment recommendations for HIV.
It’s important to note that your results from Biktarvy or Genvoya may differ from those seen in studies. Talk with your doctor about whether one of these drugs is right for you.
Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering these drugs. Visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates for Biktarvy and Genvoya when you use coupons from the site. It’s important to note that Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.
Keep in mind that what you’ll pay for either drug will depend on your treatment plan, health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.
Biktarvy and Genvoya are both brand-name drugs that don’t come in a generic form.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline.
Biktarvy and Genvoya may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These may be referred to as warnings.
The two drugs share the same warnings, but they also have different ones. Some of these warnings are mentioned below. Before you start using Biktarvy or Genvoya, be sure to talk with your doctor to see if these warnings apply to you.
Boxed warning: Risk of worsening hepatitis B
Biktarvy and Genvoya both have
Some people living with both HIV and chronic hepatitis B who have taken emtricitabine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or both have experienced sudden worsening of hepatitis B when they stopped treatment. Worsening of hepatitis B may also happen if treatment with Biktarvy or Genvoya is stopped.
Due to this risk, before you start taking Biktarvy or Genvoya, your doctor will order a blood test to screen for hepatitis B virus (HBV).
If you test positive, you’ll need to take certain precautions after starting Biktarvy or Genvoya. These include not stopping treatment without talking with your doctor first and not missing doses of the medication.
If you’re HBV-positive and you and your doctor decide you should stop your treatment, your doctor will closely monitor you for signs of hepatitis B infection. If needed, they’ll prescribe treatments for hepatitis B.
To learn more about the risk of worsening hepatitis B infection when stopping Biktarvy or Genvoya, talk to your doctor.
In addition to the boxed warning, Biktarvy and Genvoya have other warnings.
Before using Biktarvy or Genvoya, talk with your doctor if any of the following conditions or health factors apply to you:
- if you’ve had an allergic reaction to either drug or any of its ingredients
- if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- if you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
- if you’ve ever received a diagnosis of a psychological disorder, such as depression, or had suicidal thoughts or behaviors
- if you have kidney or liver problems
Help is out there
If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide or self-harm, please seek support:
- Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
- Text HOME to the Crisis Textline at 741741.
- Not in the United States? Find a helpline in your country with Befrienders Worldwide.
- Call 911 or your local emergency services number if you feel safe to do so.
If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.
If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.
The short answer: It’s possible.
Details: In certain situations, your doctor may recommend that you switch between Biktarvy and Genvoya. For example, if you experience certain side effects, they might suggest you switch drugs.
Before switching between Genvoya and Biktarvy, your doctor will check on a few things.
First, they’ll make sure you‘ve been on a stable treatment regimen and have an undetectable viral load. They’ll also confirm that the virus hasn’t developed resistance to treatments in the past. (With resistance, the virus no longer responds to a drug that previously treated it effectively.) And finally, they’ll try to determine whether the virus might already be resistant to any of the active ingredients in the drug you’re thinking about switching to. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
If your current treatment is working for you, your doctor likely won’t have you switch drugs. But if you’re having bothersome side effects or feel that your current treatment isn’t working well, talk with your doctor. Ask whether switching between Biktarvy and Genvoya is right for you.
Reminder: You should not switch drugs or stop your current treatment unless your doctor recommends it. Doing so can increase the risk of viral resistance.
If you’re interested in learning more about Biktarvy or Genvoya, talk with your doctor. They can answer questions you may have to determine whether one of these drugs is right for you. Below are a few example questions to get you started:
- Are both drugs equally effective?
- If I have kidney problems, is Genvoya or Biktarvy safer for me?
- Are other medications prescribed with Genvoya or Biktarvy?
- Can Genvoya or Biktarvy cause long-term side effects?
To learn more about Biktarvy, see these articles:
- All About Biktarvy
- Dosage Details for Biktarvy
- Side Effects of Biktarvy: What You Need to Know
- Biktarvy and Cost: What You Need to Know
- Biktarvy Interactions: Alcohol, Medications, and Others
And to learn more about Genvoya, see these articles:
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.