Medically reviewed on Oct 4, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiretroviral Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Dolutegravir
Uses For dolutegravir
Dolutegravir is used together with other medicines for the treatment of the infection caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is also used together with rilpivirine in adults to replace their current anti-HIV medicines when their healthcare provider determines that they meet certain requirements.
Dolutegravir will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS, however, it helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of problems that usually result from AIDS or HIV disease. Dolutegravir will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people. People who receive dolutegravir may continue to have some of the problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease.
Dolutegravir is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using dolutegravir
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For dolutegravir, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to dolutegravir or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of dolutegravir in children weighing less than 30 kilograms. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of dolutegravir in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution for patients receiving dolutegravir.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking dolutegravir, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using dolutegravir with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using dolutegravir with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Eslicarbazepine Acetate
- St John's Wort
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of dolutegravir. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Hepatitis B or C, or history of—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
- Infections—May decrease your body's ability to fight infection.
- Liver disease, severe—Use is not recommended in patients with this condition.
Proper Use of dolutegravir
Take dolutegravir exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Also, do not change the dose or stop taking dolutegravir without checking first with your doctor. When your supply of dolutegravir is running low, contact your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time. Do not allow yourself to run out of dolutegravir.
Dolutegravir comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Keep taking dolutegravir for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better. It is also important to take dolutegravir together with other medicines for HIV. Be sure to take all of the medicines your doctor ordered, and to take them at the right times.
You may take dolutegravir with or without food.
If you are taking antacids or laxatives containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium, sucralfate, calcium or iron supplements, or buffered medicines, take dolutegravir at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take these medicines.
Alternatively, calcium or iron supplements may be taken together with dolutegravir if taken with food.
The dose of dolutegravir will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of dolutegravir. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For treatment of HIV infection:
- Adults—50 milligrams (mg) once a day. If you are taking or have received certain other HIV medicines, take 50 mg two times a day.
- Children weighing 40 kilograms (kg) or more—50 milligrams (mg) once a day.
- Children weighing 30 to less than 40 kg—35 mg once a day (one 25 mg tablet and one 10 mg tablet).
- Children weighing less than 30 kg—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For treatment of HIV infection:
If you miss a dose of dolutegravir, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Store the medicine in its original bottle. Keep it tightly closed and protect from moisture.
Precautions While Using dolutegravir
It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure dolutegravir is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
You should not use dolutegravir together with dofetilide (Tikosyn®). Using these medicines together may cause serious or life-threatening side effects.
Serious skin and allergic reactions may occur while taking dolutegravir. Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: a severe rash or rash with fever, blistering or peeling skin, joint or muscle pain, sores in the mouth, swelling of the face, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin.
Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child notices any changes in your health. Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your body, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. Autoimmune disorders (eg, Graves' disease, polymyositis, or Guillain-Barré syndrome) may also occur.
Dolutegravir will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand this and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV, by using a latex condom or other barrier method. Dolutegravir will also not keep you from giving HIV to other people if they are exposed to your blood. Do not re-use or share needles with anyone.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.
Dolutegravir Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Black, tarry stools
- blistering or peeling skin
- bloody urine
- burning, dry, or itching eyes
- chest pain
- dark urine
- decreased frequency or amount of urine
- discharge or excessive tearing
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- general feeling of tiredness and weakness
- increased thirst
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- light-colored stools
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- muscle or joint aches
- painful or difficult urination
- rash with fever
- redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
- severe rash
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- swollen glands
- troubled breathing
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- upper right abdominal or stomach pain
- weight gain
- yellow eyes and skin
Incidence not known
- Clay-colored stools
- decreased appetite
- stomach pain or tenderness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Itching skin
- stomach discomfort
- trouble sleeping
- Abnormal dreams
Incidence not known
- difficulty in moving
- joint pain or swelling
- muscle ache, cramp, pain, or stiffness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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