Single-dose pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of oral tenofovir and emtricitabine in blood, saliva and rectal tissue: a sub-study of the ANRS IPERGAY trial

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017 Feb;72(2):478-485. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw412. Epub 2016 Sep 28.


Objectives: In the ANRS IPERGAY pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) trial, a single dose of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine was taken orally 2-24 h before sexual intercourse. A sub-study was conducted to assess the pharmacokinetics of tenofovir and emtricitabine in blood, saliva and rectal tissue following this initial oral intake.

Methods: Plasma, PBMC, saliva and rectal tissue sampling was performed over 24 h in 12 seronegative men before enrolment in the ANRS IPERGAY trial, following a single dose of 600 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/400 mg emtricitabine. Ex vivo HIV infectibility of rectal biopsies was also assessed.

Results: The median plasma Tmax of tenofovir (median Cmax: 401 μg/L) and emtricitabine (median Cmax: 2868 μg/L) was obtained 1 h (range: 0.5-4) and 2 h (range: 1-4) after dosing, respectively. The median C24 of tenofovir and emtricitabine was 40 and 63 μg/L, respectively. The median PBMC tenofovir diphosphate and emtricitabine triphosphate levels were 12.2 and 16.7 fmol/106 cells and 2800 and 2000 fmol/106 cells at 2 and 24 h after dosing, respectively. Saliva/plasma AUC0-24 ratios were 2% and 17% for tenofovir and emtricitabine, respectively. Emtricitabine was detected in rectal tissue 30 min after dosing, whereas tenofovir was only detectable at 24 h. Ex vivo HIV infectibility assays of rectal biopsies showed partial protection after dosing (P < 0.07).

Discussion: A single high dose of oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine provides rapid and high blood levels of tenofovir and emtricitabine, with rapid diffusion of emtricitabine in saliva and rectal tissue.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Emtricitabine / blood
  • Emtricitabine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Emtricitabine / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebos / pharmacology
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Tenofovir / blood
  • Tenofovir / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tenofovir / therapeutic use
  • Unsafe Sex


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Placebos
  • Tenofovir
  • Emtricitabine