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Treatment with Truvada May Cause Bone Density Loss

Posted on 29th September, 2020

by Legal Staff

People who regularly take the medication Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a way of preventing infection with HIV, may develop significant loss in bone density over the years, according to recent medical studies.

Truvada contains tenofovir and emtricitabine, two substances that have recently been correlated with moderate bone density loss in young men who have been following treatment with the drug.

While Truvada is deemed a safe and effective medication, it is known to cause a certain amount of bone loss soon after starting therapy. Over the years, if the decrease in bone density increases, people who take Truvada may come to struggle with osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become brittle and thereby more susceptible to fractures.

Bone mass usually peaks during early adulthood, typically around the age of 20, after which it begins to gradually decline. Since the majority of people who take Truvada on a regular basis are young men, their bones may be considerably affected by this medication.

While the effects of bone density loss are not immediate, they may ensue several years after the beginning of treatment.

Truvada may have serious side effects including bone density loss and kidney damage

According to Kathleen Mulligan of the University of California at San Francisco, bone mineral density declines in men who had tenofovir blood levels found to be highly protective against HIV infection, whereas bone density increased in men with undetectable levels of the medication.

The most common symptoms of osteoporosis, the most severe condition bone density loss can lead to, include:

  • back pain
  • loss of height
  • a stooped posture
  • brittle fingernails
  • weaker grip strength
  • receding gums
  • proneness to fractures
  • neck pain
  • compression fractures

While Truvada has been found to decrease the risk of contracting HIV by 92%, the medication may have serious side effects, including bone density loss and kidney damage. Bone loss has been discovered in HIV-positive adults who take Truvada and in infants exposed to tenofovir during gestation. However, bone density loss has not yet been studied extensively in HIV-negative people or in adolescents and young adults.

Nevertheless, the results of the most recent study of bone loss density associated with taking Truvada on a regular basis revealed that people will experience only a 1% decrease in bone mineral density in the spine and a 0.5% decline in the hip. The data was gathered over a period of 24 weeks and the bone density of the participants was measured using X-ray absorptiometry.

Therefore, the findings of this study, which was published in the medical journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, show that the issue of bone density loss related to Truvada may not be so severe after all. Thomas Hope, Ph.D says,

"Correct use of Truvada-based PrEP has been shown to significantly protect individuals from HIV acquisition. However, previous studies in individuals using Truvada for treatment raised possible concerns about decreases in bone density. In the study presented here, only minor changes in bone density were observed indicating that young healthy individuals using Truvada for PrEP have only a minimal risk of decreased bone density and increased fractures."

Nonetheless, additional research is necessary to determine the gravity of the situation, as there have not been many studies conducted on this issue so far.

Contact Atraxia Law Today to See if You Meet the Preliminary Requirements for a Claim

In the regrettable event that you developed severe bone density loss as a result of treatment with Truvada, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your physical and emotional distress. While additional research is necessary to establish a definitive causal relationship between treatment with Truvada and loss of bone density, there are multiple medical studies correlating the two.

After we check your eligibility, a process that will unfold over the phone and that usually takes approximately 10 minutes, we will promptly connect you with the most suitable professionals in your area. The claim will be filed with the only manufacturer of Truvada, Gilead Sciences, Inc.

With over 35 years of professional experience, we will make the legal process as easy as possible for you by taking care of the necessary documents on your behalf. Eventually, you will obtain the most favorable outcome for your case. For additional information, please contact us and we will gladly answer your questions.