Dovato (dolutegravir/lamivudine) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat HIV. Dovato comes as an oral tablet.

Dovato is used in adults with HIV who:

  • haven’t previously taken medications for HIV, or
  • are replacing their current HIV treatment with Dovato and have an undetectable HIV level in their blood

For more information on Dovato’s uses, see the “Is Dovato used for HIV?” section below.

Dovato basics

Dovato is a type of antiretroviral drug. It contains the following active ingredients:*

Dovato is a brand-name medication. A generic version of Dovato isn’t currently available.

* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And try visiting the Dovato manufacturer’s website to see the support options they offer, including a savings card.

You can visit Optum Perks to get price estimates of what you’d pay for Dovato when using coupons from the site. See the coupon options below. (Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.)

You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.

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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.

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Like most drugs, Dovato may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Dovato may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:

  • your age
  • other health conditions you have
  • other medications you take

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Dovato. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a short list of some of the mild side effects that Dovato can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Dovato’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects of Dovato that have been reported include:

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Dovato can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Dovato, call your doctor right away. But, if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Dovato that have been reported include:

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.

Suicide prevention

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Side effect focus

Learn more about some of the side effects Dovato may cause.

Boxed warnings

Dovato has boxed warnings. Boxed warnings are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug’s boxed warnings are described below.

Risk of lamivudine-resistant HBV. If you have chronic (long-term) hepatitis B and HIV, taking drugs that contain lamivudine can cause your hepatitis B to become resistant to lamivudine. (Lamivudine is one of the drugs in Dovato.) This may make the hepatitis B harder to treat.

Risk of worsening hepatitis B. If you have HIV and hepatitis B, stopping treatment with drugs containing lamivudine, such as Dovato, may worsen hepatitis B.

What might help

Before prescribing Dovato, your doctor will test you for hepatitis B. If you have hepatitis B and your doctor decides to prescribe Dovato to you, they may recommend additional treatment for hepatitis B. They might also suggest you try another treatment for your HIV instead of Dovato.

If you have both HIV and hepatitis B and need to stop taking Dovato, your doctor will monitor your liver function for a few months. They may also prescribe treatment for your hepatitis B during this time.

Liver problems

Treatment with Dovato may cause liver problems. These problems may be mild, such as slightly high liver enzyme levels. But in rare cases, Dovato can cause serious liver problems, including liver failure.

Symptoms of liver problems can include:

You may have a higher risk of liver problems with Dovato if you have hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

What might help

While you’re taking Dovato, your doctor may order blood tests from time to time to check your liver enzyme levels. Levels that are higher than usual can be an early sign of liver problems, including liver damage.

If you think you’re having symptoms of liver problems, contact your doctor right away. They’ll likely want to examine your symptoms in person.

If your doctor confirms you have liver problems, they’ll likely have you stop taking Dovato.

Immune system changes

Treatment with Dovato may cause immune system changes.

In rare cases, antiretroviral drugs such as Dovato can cause a condition called immune reconstitution syndrome. (Antiretroviral drugs are drugs used to treat HIV.) This reaction may occur when you first start taking Dovato.

HIV reduces the activity of your immune system. When you start taking Dovato, your immune system will likely become stronger again. This is referred to as immune reconstitution syndrome. It may react to infections it previously couldn’t fight. This can cause symptoms such as swelling in your lymph nodes, trouble breathing, and fever.

There are also rare reports of people developing autoimmune conditions, such as Graves’ disease, due to immune reconstitution syndrome. (With an autoimmune condition, your immune system mistakenly attacks parts of your body.) This can happen even after you’ve taken drugs such as Dovato for several months.

What might help

If you develop symptoms of immune system changes while taking Dovato, talk with your doctor. They’ll likely want to examine your symptoms in person. They may also suggest treatment for your symptoms and any infection that may be present.

Unless your symptoms are life threatening, your doctor likely won’t have you stop taking Dovato if you have immune system changes. This side effect is treatable in most cases.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Dovato. But these reactions were rare in studies of the drug.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Dovato. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Dovato is a prescription medication used to treat HIV in adults.

Specifically, it’s prescribed to adults with HIV who have not previously taken medications for this condition.

People who are already using an HIV medication may replace it with Dovato if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They have an undetectable level of HIV in their blood. (Undetectable means there are less than 50 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood.)
  • They have not experienced treatment failure with HIV medications they’ve previously taken. Treatment failure is when a person’s HIV blood level is above a certain amount despite treatment.
  • Their HIV isn’t known to be resistant to dolutegravir and lamivudine, the two active drugs in Dovato. An active drug is the ingredient that makes a medication work.

About HIV

HIV is a virus that attacks your immune system. It’s transmitted through bodily fluids, such as blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal or rectal fluids.

Without treatment, HIV is likely to develop into AIDS. AIDS causes your immune system to become too weak to defend itself against infection.

There currently isn’t a cure for HIV. But life expectancy for people with HIV can be quite long if they take Dovato or similar medications.

What Dovato does

Dovato comes as a tablet that you swallow. Each Dovato pill contains two active ingredients:*

  • Dolutegravir, which is an integrase inhibitor. Integrase inhibitors target HIV by stopping the virus from making copies of itself. This prevents the virus from spreading throughout your body.
  • Lamivudine, which is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). Lamivudine also stops the virus from copying itself, but in a different way than dolutegravir.

Dovato is meant to be used as a complete drug regimen for treating HIV. This means you won’t need to take other HIV medications with Dovato.

For more information about Dovato as a treatment for HIV, talk with your doctor.

* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Dovato.

What should I know about Dovato vs. Triumeq, Juluca, Truvada, and Genvoya?

Dovato, Triumeq, Juluca, Truvada,* and Genvoya are all prescription medications used to treat HIV. Each of these medications has at least two active drugs, as listed below. An active drug is the ingredient that makes a medication work.

  • Dovato: dolutegravir and lamivudine
  • Juluca: dolutegravir and rilpivirine
  • Truvada: emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Triumeq: abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine
  • Genvoya: elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide

Which of these is a good treatment option for HIV varies from person to person. Your doctor can tell you more about which drugs may be better choices for your HIV. They can also tell you more about how Dovato compares with other HIV treatments.

* For treating HIV, Truvada needs to be used with certain other HIV drugs.

Will I have weight gain with Dovato?

It’s possible. Weight gain wasn’t reported in studies of Dovato. But people taking HIV medications that contain dolutegravir have experienced weight gain. Dovato contains dolutegravir.

If you have weight gain during Dovato treatment, talk with your doctor. They can review your medications to check whether any could be causing this as a side effect. They can also discuss ways to maintain a weight that’s healthy for you.

Is Dovato used for PrEP?

No, Dovato isn’t used for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). It’s only used for treating HIV in adults.

PrEP refers to certain HIV medications that help prevent HIV in people who have a high risk of contracting it.

If you want to learn more about PrEP, your doctor or pharmacist can tell you which HIV medications are approved for this use.

How does Dovato work?

Dovato contains two active ingredients* that help it work to treat HIV:

  • Dolutegravir, which is an integrase inhibitor. Integrase inhibitors target HIV by stopping the virus from making copies of itself. This prevents the virus from spreading throughout your body.
  • Lamivudine, which is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). Lamivudine also stops the virus from copying itself, but in a different way than dolutegravir.

If you’d like to learn more about how Dovato works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

Does Dovato cure HIV?

No, Dovato isn’t a cure for HIV. There currently isn’t a cure for this condition. But life expectancy for people with HIV can be quite long if they take Dovato or similar medications.

If you’d like to learn more about treatment options for HIV, see this article. You can also talk with your doctor.

Dovato and Biktarvy are both tablets prescribed to treat HIV in certain situations. While Dovato is used only in adults, Biktarvy can be used in adults and some children.

Both are combination drugs, but they have different ingredients. Dovato contains dolutegravir and lamivudine. Biktarvy contains bictegravir sodium, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide.

If you’d like to learn more about these drugs, see this detailed comparison. Also, talk with your doctor about the treatment option that’s right for you.

Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Dovato that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Form and strength

Dovato comes as a tablet that you swallow. It comes in a strength of 50 milligrams (mg) of dolutegravir and 300 mg of lamivudine.

Recommended dosage

You’ll take one tablet of Dovato once each day.

Questions about Dovato’s dosage

Below are some common questions about Dovato’s dosage.

  • What if I miss a dose of Dovato? If you miss a dose of Dovato, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take two doses of Dovato at one time to make up for a missed dose. When you miss doses, it increases the chance of the HIV virus becoming resistant to Dovato. Resistant means that Dovato will not effectively treat your HIV infection, and you could develop symptoms or have to change your treatment. There are several ways to help you remember to take your medication. These include using pillboxes, setting reminders or alarms, and fitting your dose into your daily routines so you’re less likely to forget it.
  • Will I need to take Dovato long term? If you and your doctor agree that Dovato is working well for you, you’ll likely take the drug long term.
  • How long does Dovato take to work? Dovato begins working as soon as you take a dose. You won’t “feel” the drug working. But your doctor will monitor your HIV levels to make sure they stay low or undetectable during Dovato treatment.

Before you start taking Dovato, it’s important that you tell your doctor about any medical conditions you may have. You should also tell them about all medications you may take. This helps them determine whether Dovato is the right treatment option for you.

Interactions

Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.

Before taking Dovato, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Dovato.

Interactions with drugs or supplements

Dovato can interact with several types of drugs. These drugs include:

Note: Because of possible interactions, your doctor will likely recommend that you don’t take Dovato with certain drugs listed above.

This list does not contain all types of drugs that may interact with Dovato. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with use of Dovato.

Boxed warning

Dovato has boxed warnings about the risk of existing hepatitis B getting worse or becoming resistant to lamivudine (one of the drugs in Dovato). These are serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about drug effects that may be dangerous.

For more information about these boxed warnings, see the “What are Dovato’s side effects?” section above.

Other warnings

Dovato may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Dovato. Factors to consider include those discussed below.

Kidney problems. If you have kidney problems, your body may not break down Dovato properly after you take a dose. And depending on how severe your kidney problems are, Dovato may not be safe for you to take. Before you start taking Dovato, tell your doctor about any kidney problems you have. They can determine whether Dovato is safe for you to take.

Liver problems. Liver problems may affect your body’s ability to break down Dovato after you take a dose. And taking Dovato may worsen these problems. Before starting Dovato treatment, tell your doctor about any liver-related conditions you have. Depending on how severe your condition is, Dovato may not be safe for you to take. Your doctor can give you more information about safe HIV treatments.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Dovato or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Dovato. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.

Dovato and alcohol

There’s no known interaction between Dovato and alcohol.

But alcohol could increase your risk of certain side effects Dovato may cause or make them worse. Examples include:

  • headache
  • nausea and diarrhea
  • liver problems, including liver damage

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much, if any, is safe to consume while taking Dovato.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Taking Dovato while pregnant increases the risk of certain problems with fetal development (commonly known as birth defects).

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you and your doctor should discuss your options for HIV treatment. They may suggest using a medication other than Dovato if you’re planning a pregnancy or in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. If your doctor prescribes Dovato, they may have you take a pregnancy test to make sure you aren’t pregnant before you start treatment.

It’s recommended that you avoid breastfeeding your child if you have HIV. This is because it’s possible to transmit the virus through breast milk. Talk with your doctor about safe feeding options for your child during HIV treatment.

Birth control

If you’re able to become pregnant, you should use a reliable form of birth control throughout your Dovato treatment.

Your doctor will explain how you should take Dovato. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Taking Dovato

Dovato comes as a tablet that you swallow.

Accessible medication containers and labels

Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

Also, if you’re having trouble opening your medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to put Dovato in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also recommend tools to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.

Taking Dovato with other drugs

Dovato is meant to be used as a complete drug regimen for treating HIV. This means you won’t need to take other HIV medications together with Dovato.

Questions about taking Dovato

Below are some common questions about taking Dovato.

  • Can Dovato be chewed, crushed, or split? The manufacturer of Dovato recommends swallowing Dovato whole. If you’re having trouble swallowing pills, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Should I take Dovato with food? You may take Dovato with or without food.
Questions for your doctor

You may have questions about Dovato and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:

  • Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
    • How will Dovato affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
  • Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
  • If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.

Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.

Do not take more Dovato than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can lead to serious side effects.

What to do in case you take too much Dovato

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Dovato. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re considering treatment with Dovato. Ask questions that help you feel comfortable about the risks and benefits of taking the medication. Here are some examples to help you get started:

  • What should I know about alternative drugs for Dovato?
  • Does Dovato cause sexual side effects?
  • How will I know if Dovato is working for me?
  • Will I have withdrawal symptoms if I stop taking Dovato?

To learn more about Dovato, see these articles:

To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.

Q:

Will taking Dovato help prevent transmitting HIV to a sexual partner?

Anonymous

A:

Having an undetectable level of HIV in the blood reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner.

Taking Dovato exactly as your doctor instructs can help decrease your HIV level (also called a viral load) until it’s undetectable. It can also make sure your viral load remains undetectable if you’re switching from another HIV treatment to Dovato. This, in turn, lowers your risk of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner.

Before you begin treatment with Dovato, your doctor will check your HIV levels. They’ll continue to monitor these levels while you’re taking the drug. Your doctor can let you know about your risk of transmitting HIV based on your current HIV levels.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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