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What is Tivicay (Dolutegravir) Used For? Side Effects and Dosage

What is Tivicay (Dolutegravir) Used For? Side Effects and Dosage

What is Tivicay (Dolutegravir)?

Tivicay is the brand name of the antiretroviral (anti-HIV) drug Dolutegravir, sometimes referred to as dolutegravir sodium. The Dolutegravir drug class is integrase inhibitor and it is considered an integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI). The drug is manufactured by ViiV Healthcare, a leader in the research and development of HIV medication. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013.

What is this medication used for?

Tivicay is used in combination with other anti-HIV drugs, typically nucleoside analogues (nukes) and non-nukes (NNRTIs) to treat HIV. It is not a cure for HIV but aims to control the spread of the virus within the body.

Taken in combination with other drugs, including some from other drug classes (i.e. protease inhibitors), Tivicay is part of antiretroviral therapy (ART). This drug is indicated for use in adults and children who weigh over 30 kilograms.

How does Dolutegravir work?

Tivicay, like other integrase inhibitors, interferes with the enzyme called integrase. Integrase is needed by infected HIV cells to make copies of itself. By inhibiting integrase, Dolutegravir prevents the production of newly infected cells.

How to take it

Tivicay manufacturer ViiV Healthcare advises that the medication can be taken with or without food. It is taken orally at night or during the day, usually once daily. If you are taking acid-reducing agents like Pepto-Bismal, Alka-Seltzer, or Milk of Magnesia, Tivicay should be administered either two hours before or six hours after taking these products.

Tivicay does not usually interact with other drugs. However, some medicines do interfere with the levels of dolutegravir in the blood, and therefore should not be taken with Dolutegravir. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Tivicay if you are already taking etravirine (Intelence), nevirapine (Viramune), dofetilide (Tikosyn), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), metformin, or St. John’s wort.  

Tivicay side effects

Tivicay is usually well tolerated, though some mild, temporary side effects do occur.

Common side effects

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty falling asleep

Severe side effects

  • Hypersensitivity
  • Anxiety and depression


The typical dose of Tivicay in adults is 50mg taken orally once a day. However, if the medication is co-administered with some UGT1A or CYP450 3A inducers or if the patient has a suspected INSTI resistance then the correct dose may be 50mg taken orally twice daily. The dose for children weighing 30 to less than 40 kg is 35mg taken once daily.

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