Transmission of HIV: While effective viral suppression with antiretroviral therapy has been proven to substantially reduce the risk of sexual transmission, a residual risk cannot be excluded. Precautions to prevent transmission should be taken in accordance with national guidelines.
Hypersensitivity reactions: Hypersensitivity reactions have been reported with dolutegravir, and were characterized by rash, constitutional findings, and sometimes, organ dysfunction, including severe liver reactions. Dovato and other suspect medicinal products should be discontinued immediately if signs or symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions develop (including, but not limited to, severe rash or rash accompanied by raised liver enzymes, fever, general malaise, fatigue, muscle or joint aches, blisters, oral lesions, conjunctivitis, facial oedema, eosinophilia, angioedema). Clinical status including liver aminotransferases and bilirubin should be monitored. Delay in stopping treatment with Dovato or other suspect active substances after the onset of hypersensitivity may result in a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Weight and metabolic parameters: An increase in weight and in levels of blood lipids and glucose may occur during antiretroviral therapy. Such changes may in part be linked to disease control and life style. For lipids, there is in some cases evidence for a treatment effect, while for weight gain there is no strong evidence relating this to any particular treatment. For monitoring of blood lipids and glucose reference is made to established HIV treatment guidelines. Lipid disorders should be managed as clinically appropriate.
Liver disease: Patients with chronic hepatitis B or C and treated with combination antiretroviral therapy are at an increased risk of severe and potentially fatal hepatic adverse reactions. In case of concomitant antiviral therapy for hepatitis B or C, please refer also to the relevant product information for these medicinal products.
Dovato includes lamivudine, which is active against hepatitis B. Dolutegravir lacks such activity. Lamivudine monotherapy is generally not considered an adequate treatment for hepatitis B, since the risk for hepatitis B resistance development is high. If Dovato is used in patients co-infected with hepatitis B an additional antiviral is therefore generally needed. Reference should be made to treatment guidelines.
If Dovato is discontinued in patients co-infected with hepatitis B virus, periodic monitoring of both liver function tests and markers of HBV replication is recommended, as withdrawal of lamivudine may result in an acute exacerbation of hepatitis.
Patients with pre-existing liver dysfunction, including chronic active hepatitis have an increased frequency of liver function abnormalities during combination antiretroviral therapy, and should be monitored according to standard practice. If there is evidence of worsening liver disease in such patients, interruption or discontinuation of treatment must be considered.
Immune Reactivation Syndrome: In HIV-infected patients with severe immune deficiency at the time of institution of combination antiretroviral therapy (CART), an inflammatory reaction to asymptomatic or residual opportunistic pathogens may arise and cause serious clinical conditions, or aggravation of symptoms. Typically, such reactions have been observed within the first few weeks or months of initiation of CART. Relevant examples are Cytomegalovirus retinitis, generalised and/or focal mycobacterial infections, and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (often referred to as PCP). Any inflammatory symptoms should be evaluated and treatment instituted when necessary. Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves' disease and autoimmune hepatitis) have also been reported to occur in the setting of immune reactivation; however, the reported time to onset is more variable and these events can occur many months after initiation of treatment.
Liver chemistry elevations consistent with immune reconstitution syndrome were observed in some hepatitis B and/or C co-infected patients at the start of dolutegravir therapy. Monitoring of liver chemistries is recommended in patients with hepatitis B and/or C co-infection. (See Liver disease as previously mentioned and also see Adverse Reactions).
Mitochondrial dysfunction following exposure in utero: Nucleoside and nucleotide analogues may impact mitochondrial function to a variable degree, which is most pronounced with stavudine, didanosine and zidovudine. There have been reports of mitochondrial dysfunction in HIV-negative infants exposed in utero and/or post-natally to nucleoside analogues, these have predominantly concerned treatment with regimens containing zidovudine. The main adverse reactions reported are haematological disorders (anaemia, neutropenia), and metabolic disorders (hyperlactatemia, hyperlipasemia). These reactions have often been transitory. Some late-onset neurological disorders have been reported rarely (hypertonia, convulsion, abnormal behaviour). Whether such neurological disorders are transient or permanent is currently unknown. These findings should be considered for any child exposed in utero to nucleoside and nucleotide analogues, who presents with severe clinical findings of unknown aetiology, particularly neurologic findings. These findings do not affect current national recommendations to use antiretroviral therapy in pregnant women to prevent vertical transmission of HIV.
Osteonecrosis: Although the aetiology is considered to be multifactorial (including corticosteroid use, biphosphonates, alcohol consumption, severe immunosuppression, higher body mass index), cases of osteonecrosis have been reported in patients with advanced HIV-disease and/or long-term exposure to CART. Patients should be advised to seek medical advice if they experience joint aches and pain, joint stiffness or difficulty in movement.
Opportunistic infections: Patients should be advised that dolutegravir, lamivudine or any other antiretroviral therapy does not cure HIV infection and that they may still develop opportunistic infections and other complications of HIV infection. Therefore, patients should remain under close clinical observation by physicians experienced in the treatment of these associated HIV diseases.
Drug interactions: The recommended dose of dolutegravir is 50 mg twice daily when co-administered with rifampicin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, St. John's wort, etravirine (without boosted protease inhibitors), efavirenz, nevirapine, or tipranavir/ritonavir (see Interactions).
Dovato should not be co-administered with polyvalent cation-containing antacids. Polyvalent cation-containing antacids are recommended to be taken 2 hours after or 6 hours before Dovato (see Interactions).
When taken with food, Dovato and supplements or multivitamins containing calcium, iron or magnesium can be taken at the same time. If Dovato is administered under fasting conditions, supplements or multivitamins containing calcium, iron or magnesium are recommended to be taken 2 hours after or 6 hours before Dovato (see Interactions).
Dolutegravir increased metformin concentrations. A dose adjustment of metformin should be considered when starting and stopping coadministration of Dovato with metformin, to maintain glycaemic control (see Interactions). Metformin is eliminated renally and, therefore, it is of importance to monitor renal function when co-treated with Dovato. This combination may increase the risk for lactic acidosis in patients with moderate renal impairment (stage 3a creatinine clearance 45- 59 mL/min) and a cautious approach is recommended. Reduction of the metformin dose should be highly considered.
The combination of Dovato with cladribine is not recommended (see Interactions).
Dovato should not be taken with any other medicinal product containing dolutegravir or lamivudine, except where a dose adjustment of dolutegravir is indicated due to drug-drug interactions (see Interactions).
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: Dovato has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Patients should be informed that dizziness and somnolence has been reported during treatment with dolutegravir. The clinical status of the patient and the adverse reaction profile of Dovato should be borne in mind when considering the patient's ability to drive or operate machinery.