Dolutegravir is used together with other medicines to treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
This medicine is not a cure for HIV infection. It only helps to keep the virus in check and can help improve the quality of life. It does not prevent the spread of HIV to other people.
Take Dolutegravir exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
If your HIV infection is resistant to other medicines similar to Dolutegravir, your doctor may advise you to take this medicine with food.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment regimen depending on your age, weight and condition.
Dolutegravir must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. But if your next dose is due within 4 hours, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Dolutegravir if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
It is best that you do not breastfeed as HIV passes into the breast milk. Avoid breastfeeding in order to reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby. It is recommended to give your baby commercial infant formula provided that you have access to clean water and facilities.
Do not take Dolutegravir with medicine used to treat irregular heartbeat such as dofetilide.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- hepatitis B or C infection
- history of depression or other mood disorders
- resistance to other medicines for HIV infection
- severe kidney disease
- severe liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with Dolutegravir, inform your doctor immediately. Your doctor will consider the benefits of this medicine to you and the risks to your unborn child.
For women of childbearing age, it is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with this medicine. You may wish to discuss reliable birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Dolutegravir to a child.
This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It only helps to slow down the development of HIV infection.
Dolutegravir does not reduce your risk of passing HIV infection to others through sexual contact or through contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid spreading HIV infection to others.
Both this medicine and HIV may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Avoid crowded places or those who are sick to minimise the risk of catching an infection. While undergoing treatment, you may develop other infections or experience other health problems. Always keep your doctor updated on your condition and go for your appointed check-ups.
A certain enzyme called UGT1A1 is involved in the breakdown of Dolutegravir in the body. Individuals who have poor UGT1A1 enzyme activity, known as UGT1A1 poor metabolisers, may have increased exposure to this medicine. If you know you have this gene type, inform your doctor.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy test must be done before treatment if you are of childbearing age to know if this medicine is suited for you to take.
- Routine tests (e.g. amount of HIV in blood sample, liver function test, cholesterol levels) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of allergic reaction may also be needed.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Dolutegravir may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach wind, stomach pain or discomfort, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, abnormal dreams, feeling anxious or depressed, and skin itching.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- fever with headache, difficulty breathing, and stomachache
- fast and irregular heartbeat, tremors, restlessness, weakness starting in hands and feet moving towards the trunk of the body
- difficulty moving, joint aches, pains and stiffness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine, severe persistent stomach pain
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Dolutegravir with dofetilide (medicine used to treat irregular heartbeat).
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- other medicines for HIV infection e.g. etravirine, efavirenz, nevirapine, atazanavir; combinations of tipranavir/ritonavir or fosamprenavir/ritonavir
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital
- metformin (medicine for diabetes)
- rifampicin (medicine used to treat a lung infection known as tuberculosis or TB)
- fampridine (medicine for a disease affecting the brain and/or spinal cord known as multiple sclerosis)
- St. John’s wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Dolutegravir.
This medicine should not be taken with antacids, laxatives, sucralfate (medicine for stomach ulcer), calcium or iron-containing supplements or multivitamins, as these medicines could reduce the effectiveness of Dolutegravir. If you must take these medicines, take Dolutegravir at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking these medicines.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Keep the tablets in their original package to protect from moisture.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.