WHO recommends dolutegravir as preferred HIV treatment option in all populations |
Clinical News
eMediNexus Coverage from: 
WHO recommends dolutegravir as preferred HIV treatment option in all populations
Dr KK Aggarwal,  24 July 2019
Coronavirus Live Count Map India

remove_red_eye 1243 Views
#Multispeciality

6 Read Comments                

(WHO, July 22, 2019): Based on new evidence assessing benefits and risks, the WHO recommends the use of the HIV drug dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line and second-line treatment for all populations, including pregnant women and those of childbearing potential. 

Initial studies had highlighted a possible link between DTG and neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain and spinal cord that cause conditions such as spina bifida) in infants born to women using the drug at the time of conception. This potential safety concern was reported in May 2018 from a study in Botswana that found 4 cases of neural tube defects out of 426 women who became pregnant while taking DTG. Based on these preliminary findings, many countries advised pregnant women and women of childbearing potential to take efavirenz (EFV) instead.

New data from two large clinical trials comparing the efficacy and safety of DTG and EFV in Africa have now expanded the evidence base. The risks of neural tube defects are significantly lower than what the initial studies may have suggested.

DTG is a drug that is more effective, easier to take and has fewer side effects than alternative drugs that are currently used. DTG also has a high genetic barrier to developing drug resistance, which is important given the rising trend of resistance to EFV and nevirapine-based regimens.

In 2019, 12 out of 18 countries surveyed by WHO reported pre-treatment drug resistance levels exceeding the recommended threshold of 10%.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA

To comment on this article,
create a free account.
Sign Up to instantly read 30000+ free Articles & 1000+ Case Studies
Create Account

Already registered?

Login Now