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Dolutegravir

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antiretroviral Agent Tivicay Adult, Children

Dolutegravir - What is it for

​Dolutegravir is an anti-retroviral medication that prevents the replication of viruses. It reduces the amount of viruses (viral load) in the body and keeps it at a low level. It may also be given as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is a short course of a combination of different anti-retroviral medications to prevent infection after a possible exposure to the virus.

It is always given in combination with other anti-retroviral medications (combination therapy).

Dolutegravir - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Dolutegravir cause?

​Common side effects include:

  • Headache
    • You may take painkillers e.g. paracetamol for mild headaches.
  • Nausea and vomiting
    • You may take Dolutegravir with or after meals to minimize stomach upset.
  • Loose stools (diarrhoea)
    • Drink plenty of water to replace fluid losses.
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • Lethargy (feeling tired)

Inform your doctor if the side effects above become severe and bothersome.

Rare but serious side effects include:

  • Signs of infection such as fever, cough, sore throat or generally feeling unwell
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes and dark-coloured urine
  • Abnormal behaviour and thoughts
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Severe rash with blisters

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face, eyes, lip, tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Dolutegravir, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of taking this medication in pregnancy or whether there is a need for contraception (e.g. condoms or hormonal contraception) to prevent pregnancy.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Dolutegravir?

​Do not take any other medications or herbal products without first consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Some medications may reduce the effectiveness, or increase the toxicity of Dolutegravir. Dolutegravir can also affect how some other medications work.

Speak to your doctor / pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Metformin, to treat diabetes
  • Rifampicin, to treat tuberculosis or other bacterial infection
  • Anti-epileptic medications (such as phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, oxcarbamazepine etc.)

If you are taking any of these medications, your doctor may need to adjust your drug doses or arrange for closer monitoring.

Dolutegravir - Dosage and How to Use

How should Dolutegravir be used?

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your doctor.
  • You may take this medication with or without food.
  • This medication should be taken 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking antacids, oral iron, calcium, magnesium supplements and/or multivitamins.
  • In those who have difficulty swallowing the tablet whole, the tablet may be split or crushed and added to a small amount of semi-solid food or liquid, and consumed immediately.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​Missing doses may make Dolutegravir less effective and make the virus resistant to Dolutegravir. This could also make the infection harder to treat. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if the next dose is due within 4 hours, omit the missed dose and take only at your regular scheduled dose.  Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Dolutegravir - Handling

How should I handle Dolutegravir safely?

Dolutegravir - Storage

How should I store Dolutegravir?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of Dolutegravir safely?

Dolutegravir - Additional Information

  • Updated on Tuesday, March 9, 2021
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

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