Women of childbearing potential: Women of childbearing potential (WOCBP) should undergo pregnancy testing before initiation of Dovato. WOCBP who are taking Dovato should use effective contraception throughout treatment.
Pregnancy: The safety and efficacy of a dual regimen has not been studied in pregnancy.
Preliminary data from a surveillance study has suggested an increased incidence of neural tube defects (0.9%) in mothers exposed to dolutegravir (a component of Dovato) at the time of conception compared with mothers exposed to non-dolutegravir containing regimens (0.1%).
The incidence of neural tube defects in the general population ranges from 0.5-1 case per 1,000 live births (0.05-0.1%). As neural tube defects occur within the first 4 weeks of foetal development (at which time the neural tubes are sealed) this potential risk would concern women exposed to dolutegravir at the time of conception and in early pregnancy. Due to the potential risk of neural tube defects with dolutegravir, Dovato should not be used during the first trimester unless there is no alternative.
More than 1000 outcomes from second and third trimester exposure to dolutegravir in pregnant women indicate no evidence of increased risk of malformative and foeto/neonatal negative effects. However, as the mechanism by which dolutegravir may interfere in human pregnancy is unknown, the safety in use during the second and third trimester cannot be confirmed. Dovato should be used during pregnancy only if the expected benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.
In animal reproductive toxicology studies with dolutegravir, no adverse development outcomes, including neural tube defects, were identified (see Pharmacology: Toxicology: Preclinical safety data under Actions). Dolutegravir was shown to cross the placenta in animals.
A large amount of data on the use of lamivudine in pregnant women (more than 3000 outcomes from first trimester) indicates no malformative toxicity.
Animal studies showed lamivudine may inhibit cellular DNA replication (see Pharmacology: Toxicology: Preclinical safety data under Actions). The clinical relevance of these findings is unknown.
Mitochondrial dysfunction: Nucleoside and nucleotide analogues have been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo to cause a variable degree of mitochondrial damage. There have been reports of mitochondrial dysfunction in HIV-negative infants exposed in utero and/or post-natally to nucleoside analogues (see Precautions).
Breast-feeding: It is unknown whether dolutegravir is excreted in human milk. Available toxicological data in animals has shown excretion of dolutegravir in milk. In lactating rats that received a single oral dose of 50 mg/kg at 10 days postpartum, dolutegravir was detected in milk at concentrations typically higher than blood.
Based on more than 200 mother/child pairs treated for HIV, serum concentrations of lamivudine in breastfed infants of mothers treated for HIV are very low (< 4% of maternal serum concentrations) and progressively decrease to undetectable levels when breastfed infants reach 24 weeks of age. There are no data available on the safety of lamivudine when administered to babies less than three months old.
It is recommended that HIV infected women do not breast-feed their infants under any circumstances in order to avoid transmission of HIV.
Fertility: There are no data on the effects of dolutegravir or lamivudine on human male or female fertility. Animal studies indicate no effects of dolutegravir or lamivudine on male or female fertility (see Pharmacology: Toxicology: Preclinical safety data under Actions).