Dolutegravir is prescribed alongside other drugs to treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection in both adults and children who are at least 4 weeks old and weigh at least 6.6 lbs (3 kg).
Classified as an HIV integrase inhibitor, dolutegravir reduces the amount of HIV in the bloodstream and boosts the number of immune cells that fight off infections in the body. Dolutegravir does not cure HIV, but when taken with other medications, it can lower the risk of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as severe infections or cancer.
Uses and Dosage
Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication orally, either with or without food, usually 1 to 2 times daily.
To ensure its effectiveness, take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after using sucralfate or products containing aluminum or magnesium, such as antacids, buffered medications, and laxatives. These items bind with dolutegravir, reducing its efficacy.
If you’re also taking calcium or iron supplements, take dolutegravir at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after consuming them. If you take dolutegravir with food, you can take calcium or iron supplements at the same time.
Your doctor will determine your dosage based on your medical condition, age, response to treatment, and other drugs you may be using. Inform your doctor and pharmacist of all medications you’re taking, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. In children, the dosage is also determined by their weight.
Follow your doctor’s exact prescription for this medication. Do not skip any doses.
To get the most benefit, take this medication at consistent intervals. To assist with memory, take it at the same time(s) every day.
Do not exceed or decrease the prescribed dosage of this drug or discontinue it even for a short time unless instructed by your doctor. Doing so may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- stomach pain
- weight gain
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- feeling sick
- excessive tiredness
- muscle or joint pain
- blistering or peeling skin
- blisters or sores in the mouth
- red or swollen eyes
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- yellow of eyes or skin
- dark urine
- pale colored bowel movements
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
Before taking dolutegravir, inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you may have or any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other issues.
Before using this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, particularly if you have liver disease (such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C) or kidney disease.
Women of childbearing age should speak with their doctor(s) about the benefits and drawbacks before using this medication. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Your doctor should instruct you to undergo a pregnancy test before starting this medication. During pregnancy, this medication should only be used when absolutely necessary. Using it during the first trimester of pregnancy is not recommended due to the potential for harm to the fetus. Inquire about reliable methods of birth control while taking this medication.
It is unclear whether this medication passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, refrain from breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Tivicay is available in the following forms and strengths:
How does Tivicay stop HIV?
Tivicay works by stopping an enzyme which is produced by the virus from working. The virus produces the enzyme to help it multiply in the body, so by preventing it from working, the amount of virus in your body is reduced.
Does Tivicay cause weight gain?
Weight gain is one of the most common adverse effects of Tivicay.