Truvada Lawsuits: Side Effects, Health Risks, and Why you Should Speak with an Attorney

One of the most popular HIV drugs in the world, Truvada, can help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sexual transmission. Manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Truvada’s active ingredients have been shown to potentially cause bone density loss, fracture, renal impairment, and kidney failure. See the following information about Truvada to see if you need the expertise of the Las Vegas attorneys at the law offices of Ed Bernstein and Associates to assist you in your claim. 

Truvada Side Effects? Enough Said. Ask Ed.

What is Truvada?

Truvada is an FDA-approved prescription medication used for HIV-1 treatment and prevention. Truvada contains the active ingredient tenofovir disoproxil (TDF), along with other antiretroviral drugs. It was approved for use in 2012 as the first drug with the ability to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection. Those with HIV-1 take Truvada daily and use the medication for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in combination with safer sex practices. The utilization of Truvada and safe-sex methods can help reduce the risk of a partner acquiring the same disease. 

HIV (or Human immunodeficiency Virus) is a potentially deadly virus that weakens the immune system. HIV does this by destroying white blood cells, which are vital to help the body fight off diseases and infections. Without treatment and medication, the virus will eventually destroy the patient’s immune system. Truvada employs a combination of two antiretroviral components, namely TDF and emtricitabine, that are meant to help slow the disease progression and prolong life overall, but as of yet, there is no cure for HIV.

What is the problem with Truvada?

Truvada and other antiretroviral drugs containing TDF can have serious side effects, including an increase in the risk of bone density loss, bone fractures, renal impairment, and kidney failure. In the most dire cases, the problems caused by these side effects can even lead to death.

Common injuries and side effects caused by Truvada

Nearly 20,000 people taking Truvada have reported being afflicted with chronic kidney disease. The disease prevents the organs from effectively filtering waste out of the bloodstream and body. While human kidneys are resilient, once they are damaged it is incredibly hard to reverse the damage that has already been done. Patients taking a drug containing TDF, like Truvada, in high doses and for extended periods of time are especially at risk.

Symptoms associated with kidney disease include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Abnormal protein levels in the urine
  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Itchy skin
  • Poor concentration
  • High blood pressure
  • Tubular dysfunction
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) or declining kidney function
  • High creatinine levels diagnosed by a doctor
  • Abnormal glomerular filtration rate (GFR) levels
  • Death due to renal failure.

In addition to the risks of chronic kidney disease, people taking Gilead’s Truvada and other TDF drugs are also at risk of developing several other kidney-related conditions, including:

  • Acute kidney injury (AKI) or acute renal failure (ARF): A kidney disorder in which the kidneys have difficulty filtering waste from the blood. 
  • Fanconi syndrome: A kidney tubule disorder that causes excessive levels of glucose, potassium, and bicarbonate to be excreted in the urine.
  • Renal tubular acidosis: A kidney condition involving the build-up of acid in the bloodstream due to the kidneys failing to filter it out.

Bone density injuries

 A 2010 study found a strong correlation between the loss of bone density in HIV-infected individuals, particularly in conjunction with the use of the antiretroviral drug TDF. There were reported almost 10,000 cases of bone density losses in those taking Truvada. 

Another study from 2016 detailed that patients taking Gilead’s TDF had a 1-3 percent greater chance of bone mineral density loss than those taking other antiviral drugs. Without new bone tissues to replace older tissues, osteoporosis will set in. Osteoporosis is a disease where bones become so weak that minor falls can cause them to fracture. 

Symptoms for osteoporosis and osteopenia include: 

  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Back pain
  • Loss of height
  • Stooped posture
  • Bone fractures
  • Bone density loss, weakening or demineralization.

Gilead concealed the dangers of Truvada and other antiretroviral drugs containing TDF.

The leading manufacturer of HIV drugs worldwide, Gilead generated $11 billion in sales in 2017 alone. However, the FDA warned the company that it was misleading the public by downplaying the seriousness of Truvada’s side effects. They sent Gilead Sciences, Inc. multiple letters critiquing the company’s statements on their medications.

  • In March 2002, the FDA sent letters warning Gilead regarding their minimization of the known risks of Truvada and making false claims on its efficacy. Gilead Sciences, Inc., sales representatives made statements to physicians attending a scientific conference that its antiretroviral drugs were non-toxic and posed no risk of causing kidney failure or bone density problems. However, the risks of bone fractures and renal problems were already documented and included on the warning label. 
  • In July 2003, the FDA sent another letter where they called attention to Gilead’s online advertising, which also minimized the risks of and inflated the benefits of TDF drugs. Gilead’s sales representatives neglected to mention kidney and bone risks from the antiretroviral drugs currently on the market. 
  • Lastly, in July 2014, the FDA asked Gilead Science, Inc., to remove a sponsored web link that misrepresented the safety of TDF drugs. It also failed to mention the known risks of kidney problems and bone density issues once again. The company was required to remove the link. 

Gilead intentionally withheld a safer option.

Gilead had developed a safer medication (TAF) and had knowledge of it for well over a decade, but chose to never release it in order to maximize their Truvada profits. People with HIV needed TDF medications to stay alive; they had no other options and Gilead knew it. However, instead of addressing the issues associated with their medications, the company decided to keep selling them until the patent had expired. At that time, they then “claimed” to have found a safer alternative (TAF) to TDF for medications like Truvada.

Why should you talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about a Truvada lawsuit?

If you or a loved one has taken Truvada and experienced any of the serious side effects or complications listed above, including kidney disease or bone density loss, you may be eligible to file an injury lawsuit to recover damages. To determine your eligibility, call the attorneys at the law offices of Ed Bernstein, an attorney with experience helping people who have been harmed by pharmaceutical drugs. 

There have already been two lawsuits filed against Gilead Sciences, Inc., over its promotion of HIV medication with the active ingredient tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), like Truvada, from individuals who have suffered bone and kidney damage as a result of taking Gilead medications, with more being filed every day. 

Gilead had a duty to share its exclusive knowledge of the serious health risks associated with TDF. Instead, they misrepresented the information needed for doctors and their patients to make informed decisions about prescribing and taking the drugs so that they could maximize their profits and sales. 

Call the law offices of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates right away to understand whether you have a case and how to move forward as you may only have a limited amount of time to file your personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit in a timely fashion, you could lose your right to the compensation that you deserve. Such compensation could help pay for medical treatment, lost wages, travel expenses related to treatment, medications, as well as pain and suffering. Ed Bernstein is an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight to help you recover the money that you deserve.

What makes Truvada personal injury cases and lawsuits challenging?

It’s best not to attempt to file a Truvada injury lawsuit or personal injury case on your own due to the challenges these cases can face. In many situations, the corporation who manufactured and sold Truvada to you deserves the blame. However, starting this process and knowing who to bring the suit against often proves difficult for many victims.

You will also need to show that side effects, injury, pain, and suffering have occurred, which can involve its own set of difficulties after long periods of time have passed. Don’t try to do it alone! You should not have to deal with the harmful side effects and stress of putting together a lawsuit on your own. Ed Bernstein can help you with every aspect of your claim.

What should you look for in an attorney?

When looking for a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas for your lawsuit, you need to find someone with expertise in these types of claims who has a track record of winning. Work with someone who knows what to do and has a proven track record of getting results. The attorneys at Edward M. Bernstein & Associates have over four decades of successful legal experience to protect and fight for your rights.


When you need help from an experienced personal injury attorney with your Truvada lawsuit, call Ed! Edward M. Bernstein & Associates are here to help you. We have the experience and expertise to win these cases.

Call 702-919-7745 now to schedule your free consultation with our office.

“Enough Said, Call Ed!”