AIDS and HIV Information
What is Triumeq Used For? Explained
Triumeq is a complete anti-HIV regimen containing a combination of dolutegravir, abacavir, and lamivudine. This three-in-one pill helps prevent the virus from multiplying and attacking the immune system. When left untreated, HIV progresses to its final stage—Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. Triumeq can be used alone or combined with other HIV medications.
FDA Approval and Certification
This prescription-only antiretroviral regimen (ART) was given US FDA approval in 2014. It is indicated for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children weighing at least 40 kilograms, and with a creatinine clearance of not less than 50m/min. The data presented here does not include all the necessary information on taking Triumeq. For your safety, please refer to the drug’s full prescribing information and patient package insert.
How it works
A person can be infected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and then later on transmit the virus through exchange of bodily fluids (e.g., blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk). HIV targets the cells of the immune system (CD4) and eventually weakens the person’s defense system, making them more prone to infection and some types of cancer. The amount of CD4 in the patient’s body is typically measured to assess the degree of immune deficiency.
The immune cells attacked by HIV are forced to create copies of the virus with the help of specialized proteins called enzymes. Inhibiting the activity of these enzymes reduces the production of HIV copies. Triumeq contains three previously approved HIV drugs (DTG + ABC + 3TC) that blocks the activity of enzymes reverse transcriptase and integrase.
Safety and Efficacy
The combined action of the three drugs reduces the amount of virus in the body and lowers transmission rate. A study funded by ViiV Healthcare showed that a combination of dolutegravir, abacavir, and lamivudine was more effective and had a better safety profile compared to efavirenz/tenofovir DF/emtricitabine regimen. In the 48-week trial, 2% of the 833 participants discontinued therapy due to adverse events caused by DTG–ABC–3TC group, while 10% have stopped taking the regimen from the EFV–TDF–FTC group.
Things to know before taking Triumeq
Good Candidates for Treatment
Triumeq is recommended for people with normal functioning liver and kidneys, particularly, with a creatinine clearance of 50 mL/min and above. You are a good candidate for this regimen if you have been tested negative for HLA-B*5701 gene. People who have the gene variation are more likely to develop hypersensitivity reactions to the drug abacavir.
Warnings and Contraindications
- Triumeq should not be used on its own if you have or have had resistance to any of the drugs it contains: abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine.
- You should not take this medication of you have a history of allergic reaction to other HIV drugs containing abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine.
- Triumeq may cause serious life-threatening effects to people with the following conditions: liver disease (including hepatitis B or C), kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
How to take Triumeq
Strictly follow the right dosage and frequency of taking Triumeq as advised by your doctor. Triumeq is typically prescribed as a once-a-day complete regimen. It can be taken with or without food. Do not miss a dose and do not take two doses at the same time. If you take more than the usual dose, seek medical help immediately.
Taking Triumeq while using other drugs can affect the concentration of one or both drugs. Potential drug interactions include:
- Anti-arrhythmic drug dofetilide (Tikosyn®)
- Other antiretroviral drugs such as efavirenz, nevirapine, etravine, fosamprenavir/ritonavir, and tipranavir/ritonavir.
- Supplements such as calcium, iron, including multivitamins with iron or calcium
- Laxatives, antacids, and other drugs containing magnesium, aluminum, and sucralfate
- Anti-seizure medications: carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, and oxcarbazepine
- Hepatitis virus treatments such as interferon or ribavirin
- Metformin-containing drugs
- St. John’s wort supplement
Serious Adverse Events
- Allergic reactions that may lead to death
- Lactic acidosis – lactic acid build-up in the blood. Watch out for signs and symptoms of weakness or unexplained fatigue, muscle pain, difficulty breathing. Stomach pain, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and irregular heartbeat.
- Severe liver problems – call your medical provider right away, if you are experiencing yellowing of skin and the white of eyes, loss of appetite, pain or tenderness on the right side of the stomach, dark-colored urine, and light-colored stool.