The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Triumeq, ViiV Healthcare’s single-tablet, triple-combination antiretroviral (ARV) regimen, as a first-line therapy to treat HIV. The tablet is comprised of the integrate inhibitor (II) Tivicay (dolutegravir) plus Epzicom (abacavir and lamivudine) and is the first single-tablet regimen to receive approval that does not contain Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine). Consequently, Triumeq is an option for those who have impaired kidney function, who are unable to take tenofovir. In addition, Triumeq contains dolutegravir, which has done exceptionally well in every trial, outperforming most other drugs.
Despite its many attributes, Triumeq is not for everyone. While dolutegravir itself has no discernable disadvantages, the pairing with abacavir can be a problem in some cases. A very small number of people experienced an extreme reaction to abacavir, so pre-treatment testing is required to check whether or not abacavir is suitable. Abacavir may also not be suitable for those starting with extremely high viral loads, or for those who already have a high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
There’s a growing recognition, based on multiple clinical trials, that starting therapy with integrase inhibitors may be the best way to go for most people, and there are now two integrase inhibitor-based STRs to choose from (in the US): Stribild and Triumeq. As a result, an even great number of HIV-positive people will be candidates for easy single-tablet regimens.
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