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Does Triumeq cause weight gain?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 10, 2023.

Official answer


Weight gain is an uncommon side effect of Triumeq that has been reported in post-marketing reports – these are studies done after a drug has been approved. Weight gain was not noted as a side effect of Triumeq in clinical trials and is not documented as a side effect in the product information. The incidence of weight gain with Triumeq is not known, but recent studies have reported that one in six people starting HIV treatment gain at least 10% in body weight over one to two years. The risk is higher in people who start treatment with a combination that contains the integrase inhibitors dolutegravir, bictegravir, or elvitegravir, or the NRTI tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). Trimueq contains dolutegravir.

Weight gain is more common in women, black people, and in those with a low CD4 count or who were in poorer health before starting treatment. It is unclear why some people gain weight with Triumeq but it may be due to:

  • A “return to health” effect after years of fighting a viral infection. This is more pronounced in people with low CD4 counts or with a low baseline weight before treatment
  • An increased appetite and not making healthy food choices
  • Changes to fat cells
  • Effects on the hormone system that governs appetite regulation
  • Newer HIV treatments having better gastrointestinal tolerability (causing fewer side effects such as nausea or diarrhea).

If you have unexpected weight gain while taking Triumeq then talk to your doctor about it. Weight gain associated with HIV treatment may increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several other conditions.

Triumeq is a fixed-dose combination tablet that contains three antivirals: abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine, which may be used to treat human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in adults and children weighing at least 40 kg (88 pounds).

  • Triumeq (abacavir sulfate, dolutegravir sodium, lamivudine). Updated 03/2021. ViiV Healthcare Company
  • Alcorn K. Weight gain and HIV treatment May 2020 NAM Aidsmap

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