Anvisa (the national health watchdog agency) this week approved a new drug to treat HIV: Dovato, a once-daily tablet, consisting of two drugs, Dolutegravir 50 mg and Lamivudine, 300 mg.
The drug is indicated for adults and adolescents over 12 years of age, who weigh at least 40 kg, and who do not have a history of resistance to Dolutegravir or Lamivudine. In addition to being a single dose, Dovato can also be taken on an empty stomach.
“There are several studies that show that when treatment is with a single pill, the risk of failure — due to forgetting to take a medication, for example — is much lower. This makes it easier to stick to treatment,” says the doctor, who is also a researcher at the Center for Reference and Disease Training STDs/AIDS in São Paulo
According to GSK/ViiV Healthcare, the pharmaceutical company responsible for developing the drug, Dovato consists of two molecules, and Dolutegravir works to prevent the integration of viral DNA into the genetic material of human cells. On the other hand, lamivudine works by interfering with the conversion of viral RNA into DNA, thus preventing the virus from reproducing.
In fact, both drugs are already used to treat HIV – separately. Initially, the patient takes a standard cocktail containing, in addition to Dolutegravir or Lamivudine, tenofovir. “Therefore, Dovato is only indicated if the patient has virus control after 6 months,” he says.
Also according to an infectologist, in the long run, tenofovir can cause kidney problems and loss of bone mass, due to its greater toxicity. Therefore, this new treatment appears to be a good option. “As a single pill, the drug helps people’s quality of life, prevents failure, and has less kidney and bone toxicity,” Madruga says.
efficacy and safety
A study released at the 18th European Congress on AIDS Control evaluated the drug’s efficacy, safety and tolerability in patients who received Dovato as prescribed by their physicians.
The study, called URBAN, showed that the combination of Dolutegravir and Lamivudine had good results in controlling HIV within a year, with no resistant cases emerging. With regard to safety, the risks of serious adverse effects and discontinuation were low. Information from the UOL portal.
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