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Dolutegravir

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antiretroviral Agent Tivicay Adult, Children

Dolutegravir - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Dolutegravir cause?

​Common side effects include:

  • Headache
    • You may take painkillers e.g. paracetamol for mild headaches.
  • Nausea and vomiting
    • You may take Dolutegravir with or after meals to minimize stomach upset.
  • Loose stools (diarrhoea)
    • Drink plenty of water to replace fluid losses.
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • Lethargy (feeling tired)

Inform your doctor if the side effects above become severe and bothersome.

Rare but serious side effects include:

  • Signs of infection such as fever, cough, sore throat or generally feeling unwell
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes and dark-coloured urine
  • Abnormal behaviour and thoughts
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Severe rash with blisters

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face, eyes, lip, tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Dolutegravir, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of taking this medication in pregnancy or whether there is a need for contraception (e.g. condoms or hormonal contraception) to prevent pregnancy.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Dolutegravir?

​Do not take any other medications or herbal products without first consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Some medications may reduce the effectiveness, or increase the toxicity of Dolutegravir. Dolutegravir can also affect how some other medications work.

Speak to your doctor / pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Metformin, to treat diabetes
  • Rifampicin, to treat tuberculosis or other bacterial infection
  • Anti-epileptic medications (such as phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, oxcarbamazepine etc.)

If you are taking any of these medications, your doctor may need to adjust your drug doses or arrange for closer monitoring.

Dolutegravir - Additional Information

  • Updated on Tuesday, March 9, 2021
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

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