Active Substance: abacavir sulfate / dolutegravir sodium / lamivudine
Common Name: abacavir sulfate / dolutegravir sodium / lamivudine
ATC Code: J05AR13
Marketing Authorisation Holder: ViiV Healthcare UK Limited
Active Substance: abacavir sulfate / dolutegravir sodium / lamivudine
Authorisation Date: 2014-09-01
Therapeutic Area: HIV Infections
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Antivirals for systemic use
Triumeq is indicated for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected adults and adolescents above 12 years of age weighing at least 40 kg.
Before initiating treatment with abacavir-containing products, screening for carriage of the HLA-B*5701 allele should be performed in any HIV-infected patient, irrespective of racial origin. Abacavir should not be used in patients known to carry the HLA-B*5701 allele.
What is Triumeq and what is it used for?
Triumeq is an antiviral medicine used to treat patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is used in patients from 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kg.
Triumeq contains three active substances: dolutegravir, abacavir and lamivudine.
How is Triumeq used?
Triumeq can only be obtained with a prescription and treatment should be prescribed by a doctor who is experienced in managing HIV infections.
Before starting treatment with Triumeq, all patients should have a test to find out if they have a gene called ‘HLA-B (type 5701)’. Patients with this gene are at an increased risk of having an allergic reaction to abacavir, so they should not take Triumeq.
Triumeq is available as tablets (50 mg dolutegravir / 600 mg abacavir /300 mg lamivudine) and the recommended dose is one tablet a day, taken with or without food.
How does Triumeq work?
One of the active substances in Triumeq, dolutegravir, is an integrase inhibitor. This is an antiviral medicine that blocks an enzyme called integrase that is needed by the HIV virus to make new copies of itself in the body. The other two active substances, abacavir and lamivudine, are nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). They both work in similar ways by blocking the activity of reverse transcriptase, an enzyme produced by HIV that allows it to infect cells and make more viruses.
Triumeq reduces the amount of HIV in the blood and keeps it at a low level. Triumeq does not cure HIV infection or AIDS, but it may delay the damage to the immune system and the development of infections and diseases associated with AIDS.
All three active substances in Triumeq are already available in the European Union (EU) as single-component medicines: abacavir has been authorised as Ziagen since 1999, lamivudine as Epivir since 1996, and dolutegravir as Tivicay since January 2014. The combination of abacavir and lamivudine has been authorised as Kivexa since 2004.
What benefits of Triumeq have been shown in studies?
The combination of dolutegravir, abacavir and lamivudine (as found in Triumeq) was evaluated in one main study involving 833 previously untreated patients. Data from this study had already been used in the authorisation of Tivicay.
Patients were either given the Triumeq combination or a different three-drug combination (Atripla) that did not include an integrase inhibitor. The main measure of effectiveness was the response rate, which was the proportion of patients with a reduction of the levels of virus in the blood (viral load) to fewer than 50 copies of HIV RNA per ml. After 48 weeks, 88% of the patients given the combination found in Triumeq (364 out of 414) responded to treatment, compared with 81% of the patients who were given Atripla (338 out of 419). Data from this study collected until week 96 showed that this effect was maintained over time.
The company also looked at the way Triumeq was absorbed in the body in comparison with two separate tablets (dolutegravir and abacavir/lamivudine) containing the three medicines that make it up. Results from this study showed that Triumeq was absorbed into the body in the same way as the separate medicines.
What are the risks associated with Triumeq?
The most common side effects with Triumeq (which may affect more than 1 in 10 people) are insomnia (difficulty sleeping), headache, nausea (feeling sick), diarrhoea and fatigue (tiredness). In patients taking some of the components of Triumeq, certain serious side effects have been seen including hypersensitivity (allergic). For the full list of all side effects reported with Triumeq, see the package leaflet.
Triumeq must not be used together with dofetilide, a medicine used to control cardiac arrhythmia (unstable heartbeat). For the full list of restrictions with Triumeq, see the package leaflet.
Why is Triumeq approved?
The Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) decided that Triumeq’s benefits are greater than its risks and recommended that it be approved for use in the EU. The CHMP concluded that the medicine had demonstrated its effectiveness in previously untreated patients, and that similar benefits are expected in patients who have received previous treatment.
The CHMP also noted that giving the combination of dolutegravir, abacavir and lamivudine as a single tablet is an additional treatment option for patients with HIV infection and without the HLA-B (type 5701) gene. Giving the combined medicine rather than the single medicines reduces the number of tablets patients have to take, helping them to adhere to their treatment. The CHMP also considered the fact that Triumeq can be taken with or without food as an additional advantage compared with other similar medicines which have to be taken strictly either with food or on an empty stomach. Regarding Triumeq’s safety profile, this was expected to be similar to the safety profile of the single components and comparable to that of other HIV treatments.
What measures are being taken to ensure the safe and effective use of Triumeq?
A risk management plan has been developed to ensure that Triumeq is used as safely as possible. Based on this plan, safety information has been included in the summary of product characteristics and the package leaflet for Triumeq, including the appropriate precautions to be followed by healthcare professionals and patients.
In addition, the company that markets Triumeq will provide educational material for healthcare professionals expected to prescribe Triumeq that addresses the risk of abacavir-associated hypersensitivity.
Further information can be found in the summary of the risk management plan.
Other information about Triumeq
The European Commission granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union for Triumeq on 1 September 2014.
For more information about treatment with Triumeq, read the package leaflet (also part of the EPAR) or contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Source: European Medicines Agency
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.