What is Dolutegravir?
Dolutegravir is an antiviral medication prescribed to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This medicine is generally prescribed as a combination medicine along with other medicine such as Rilpivirine. This medicine is generally prescribed in patients weighing at least 30KG of body weight.
Type of drug
Dolutegravir belongs to class of medicine called HIV integrase inhibitors.
Dolutegravir itself is an active ingredient in several branded drugs.
Dolutegravir is prescribed in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection in combination with rilpivirine. Dolutegravir, in combination with rilpivirine-drug name Juluca, was approved as part of the first complete treatment regimen with only two drugs for the treatment of adults with HIV-1.
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How does Dolutegravir work?
Dolutegravir basically belongs to antiviral type of drugs called HIV integrase inhibitors and works by increasing the immune cells and decreasing the infection causing HIV cells in the body. This medicine does not cure HIV infection but may help to decrease the chance of getting AIDS and HIV related infections.
How to Take Dolutegravir?
Form of medicine – Dolutegravir medicine is available in the form of tablets. It is available as 10mg, 25mg, 50mg tablets.
When and How to use
Follow the instructions about usage and schedule as mentioned in the prescription. In general this medicine may be taken with or without food as advised by your doctor. Never crush, chew the tablet but swallow whole medicine with some water.
50mg once daily is the common dose preferred for the adults. For the patients of body weight below 30kg (35 mg once daily(One 25-mg tablet and one 10-mg tablet).
However, dosage depends on the severity of the condition been treated and is decided by the doctor. Never miss or overdose medicine. Never take an extra dose if missed by mistake and if it is almost the next dosage scheduled time. Consult your doctor immediately for medical supervision if any overdosage happens.
When to Avoid Dolutegravir?
Dolutegravir is not advised to use in patients suffering from some health conditions such as:
- Hepatitis B infection
- Hepatitis C infection
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- In the First trimester of pregnancy
Side-effects of Dolutegravir
Dolutegravir may possibly show some side effects in some patients. It is advised to consult your doctor if any of such side effects are noticed and if they are prolonged. Below mentioned are some possible side effects by Dolutegravir. It may show side effects that are not mentioned here in this list.
- Trouble sleeping
- Black, tarry stools
- Blistering or peeling skin
- Bloody urine
- 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
- signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goitre)
- Increased thirst
- Loss of appetite
- Lower back or side pain
- Muscle or joint aches
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
- Weight gain
- Yellow eyes and skin.
Effects on organs
Hepatotoxicity (Precaution has to be taken in case of hepatic impairment and Hepatitis B and Hepatic C infections), Hypersensitivity reactions,
Immune Reconstitution Syndrome – During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, patients whose immune systems respond may develop an inflammatory response to opportunistic infections (such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia [PCP], or tuberculosis), which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.
It is advised to consult the doctor and share detailed information about the current health condition so that the doctor can alter the dosage depending on the patient’s health condition.
Reported Allergic Reactions?
It is not recommended in patients who have known allergic reactions towards Dolutegravir. Bring it to the notice of your doctor if any allergic reactions are observed for an immediate medical emergency. Below mentioned are some allergic reactions possible with Dolutegravir.
- Rash with fever
- White spots or sores, ulcers on the lips or in the mouth
- Swelling of the face, feet, fingers etc.
- Redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelids
- Allergic symptoms in the eyes such as burning, dry, or itching
Effect on menstrual cycle
Effect of this medicine on menstrual cycle is not clinically established. Consult your gynaecologist for further guidelines to follow.
Drug Interactions to Be Careful About:
Dolutegravir has the possibility of showing drug interaction if used along with the below-mentioned list of medicine. Etravirine, Efavirenz, Nevirapine, Fosamprenavir/ritonavir, Tipranavir/ritonavir, Carbamazepine, Oxcarbazepine, Metformin, Rifampicin, Dofetilide, Medications containing polyvalent cations(Mg or Al), laxatives sucralfate, oral calcium or multivitamin containing iron or calcium.
There is no food interactions noticed with Dolutegravir. Follow the guidelines specified by your doctor.
Interactions with laboratory procedures:
ALT, AST, Lipase, LDL, HDL, Triglycerides have shown changes in the values while taking this drug.
Shows Effects / Results in and how long do the effect stay:
Limited clinical data is available regarding the onset of action and how long the effect stays. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about the onset of action and duration of effect.
Is Dolutegravir Addictive?
No drug addiction is noticed in case of Dolutegravir.
Can I have Dolutegravir with alcohol?
Consumption of alcohol is not advised while under this medication. Consult your doctor if you have a habit of taking alcohol at regular basis.
Can I have Dolutegravir When Pregnant?
Not advised to use in general in pregnant women particularly in first trimester of pregnancy. Consult your doctor if have to use while pregnant.
Can I have Dolutegravir when feeding a baby?
Not advised to use in general in breastfeeding women. Your doctor may advice to discontinue breastfeeding your child if you have to use this medicine.
Can I drive after taking Dolutegravir?
In rare conditions some patients may experience dizziness and blurred vision as a side effect especially if taken along with some other medication as a combination medicine. Hence, it is not advised to do activities which require alertness such ad driving or operating heavy machinery.
Effect of overdose Dolutegravir
Serious adverse effects such as breathing problems, sometimes even death may be possible if overdosage happens in large quantities. Consult your doctor immediately if you notice overdosage.
Effect of using expired Dolutegravir?
It is advised not to use any medicine that is expired to avoid adverse effects. Consult your doctor immediately if any adverse effects are noticed by taking any expired medicine. It is advised to check the label while purchasing the medicine to verify the expiry date to be safe.
Effect of missing a dose of Dolutegravir
No major adverse effects are noticed if only one dosage is missed. But if you are missing the dosages regularly, it is advised to keep a reminder so that you don’t miss the regular dosage.
It is advised to store the medication away from direct sunlight, moisture, heat and to keep at room temperature. Keep away from the reach of the children and pets.
Different Brands of Dolutegravir medicine available:
Below mentioned is the available brand of medicine that contains Dolutegravir as key ingredient, and your doctor may prescribe this to treat the condition.
- Instgra Tablet – Manufactured by Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd
- Viropil Tablet (as a combination with other medicine like Lamivudine, Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate – Manufactured by Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd
- Spegra Tablet (as a combination with other medicine like Emtricitabine, Tenofovir Alafenamide fumarate – Manufactured by Emcure Pharmaceuticals.
- Juluca –Dolutegravir + rilpivirine.
- Dovato – Dolutegravir + Lamivudine
- Triumeq – Dolutegravir + Abacavir sulphate + Lamivudine
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Dr. Divya has been pursuing Dentistry for about 5 years now. Endodontics and Orthodontics are her areas of interest and she holds a BDS degree from Govt. Dental College, Vijayawada, AP. Besides pursuing her career as a Dentist, she is passionate about Technical writing and is spending her free time in writing medical articles to bring awareness and share medical knowledge to the public.