Answered by:
Stuart D. Federman, PharmD, AAHIVP
Gateway Apothecary
Saint Louis, MO

Some medications need to be taken with food, while others need to be taken on an empty stomach. If you’re taking Edurant (rilpivirine, a component of Complera), for example, it needs to have acid in your stomach to get fully absorbed. Otherwise, the dosage would be sporadic and could lead to failure with resistance. On the other hand, Sustiva (efavirenz, a component of Atripla) needs to be taken on an empty stomach. It’s absorbed at higher levels with fatty meals, which can cause extra side effects. If you have specific questions about whether you should take your meds with or without food, talk to your pharmacist.