A new HIV medication, Tivicay (dolutegravir) was approved this month by the FDA for use in combination with standard HIV regimens.
Tivicay is part of a class of anti-HIV drugs known as integrase inhibitors. These drugs work by preventing the activity of an enzyme necessary for the virus to multiply in cells. The only other medication available in this class is Isentress (raltegravir).
Tivicay has been approved for the use in patients with HIV-1 in combination with standard HIV regimens. It can be used if whether you have previously received treatment for HIV or not. It can also be used if you have previously been taking an integrase inhibitor. It has been approved for use in adults and individuals above the age of 12 with a weight over 40 kg (88 lbs). Tivicay is available as an oral tablet that is taken twice daily.
Studies carried out in over 2500 patients compared Tivicay to Isentress, used in addition to standard HIV regimen Atripla (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir). These studies showed that Tivicay was effective in reducing viral loads. The major side effects observed during the studies were insomnia and headache. Other adverse effects included rare but serious hypersensitivity reactions, and abnormal liver function in patients with existing Hepatitis B or C co-infection.
As the approach to HIV care has shifted to chronic disease management, Tivicay offers a new option to better control the virus. Like all HIV therapy, taking the medication everyday and not missing a dose is very important.
Till next week,
The GoodRx Pharmacist