National Stroke Foundation

Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.


Approval Status:

Approved October 2001

Specific Treatments:

HIV infection

General Information

Viread, an oral tablet indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been approved for use in adults. This once-daily antiviral compound is administered in combination with other antiretroviral agents for HIV treatment. Viread is the first nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor approved for HIV treatment.

Close to one million Americans are now infected with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Each year only a little over one third of those infected receive anti-HIV treatments regimens. Due to new treatment innovations such as Viread, this number increases each year.

Clinical Results

Approval of Viread is supported by placebo-controlled clinical studies conducted with more than 1,000 HIV positive subjects. Viread was administered both alone and in combination with subjects' existing antiretroviral regimens. When used in addition to other antiretroviral products, Viread was shown to reduce the level of HIV in the blood for up to 48 weeks and to reduce the viral load even in subjects whose HIV had previously developed resistance to available antiretroviral medications. Resistance to Viread was rare and slow to develop.

Side Effects

Adverse events associated with the use of Viread may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Asthenia
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Flatulence

Mechanism of Action

Viread is an HIV nucleotide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor that helps block an enzyme crucial to the production and replication of HIV. Its active ingredient, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, is an acyclic nucleoside phosphonate diester analog of adenosine monophosphate. In the body, this analog is converted to tenofovir, then is formed to tenofovir diphosphate by cellular enzymes. Lowering the amount of HIV in the blood, may in turn increase the number of T cells. This would improve the immune system, increasing its ability to defend the body against HIV infection.

Additional Information

For additional information on Viread, please visit Gilead Sciences.