An Overview of Triumeq (Abacavir/Dolutegravir/Lamivudine)

July 10, 2018

Brand Name: Triumeq
Other Name(s): ABC/DTG/3TC, abacavir sulfate/dolutegravir sodium/lamivudine
Drug Class: Combination Drugs

Triumeq pill


Triumeq can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include allergic reactions, buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis), and severe liver problems.

Triumeq contains abacavir, an HIV medicine. People who take abacavir-containing products, including Triumeq, may have a serious allergic reaction (hypersensitivity reaction) that can cause death. Your risk of this allergic reaction is much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. Your health care provider can determine with a blood test if you have this gene variation. If you get a symptom from two or more of the following groups while taking Triumeq, contact your health care provider right away to find out if you should stop taking Triumeq.

  • Group 1 Symptoms: Fever
  • Group 2 Symptoms: Rash
  • Group 3 Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Group 4 Symptoms: General ill feeling, extreme tiredness, or achiness
  • Group 5 Symptoms: Shortness of breath, cough, sore throat

Your pharmacist will give you a Warning Card with a list of these symptoms. Carry this Warning Card with you at all times. If you stop Triumeq because of an allergic reaction, never take Triumeq or any other medicine that contains abacavir or dolutegravir again. If you take Triumeq or any other abacavir-containing medicine again after you have had an allergic reaction, within hours you may get life-threatening symptoms that may include very low blood pressure or death. If you stop Triumeq for any other reason, even for a few days, and you are not allergic to Triumeq, talk with your health care provider before taking it again. Taking Triumeq again can cause a serious allergic or life-threatening reaction, even if you never had an allergic reaction to Triumeq before. If your health care provider tells you that you can take Triumeq again, start taking it when you are around medical help or people who can call a health care provider if you need one.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis:

  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Unusual muscle pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling cold, especially in your arms and legs
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:

  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored bowel movements.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area

Some people taking Triumeq have had serious liver problems. People with a history of hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) or hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) may have an increased risk of developing new or worsening liver problems while taking Triumeq.

If you have both HIV and HBV infection and take Triumeq, your HBV infection may get worse (flare up) if you stop taking Triumeq. To help avoid this, take Triumeq exactly as prescribed. Do not run out of Triumeq or stop taking Triumeq without talking to your health care provider.

Worsening of liver disease (sometimes resulting in death) has occurred in people with both HIV and HCV who were taking HIV medicines and also being treated for HCV infection with interferon with or without ribavirin. If you are taking Triumeq and interferon with or without ribavirin and you have any new symptoms, tell your health care provider.

Liver problems have also occurred in people taking Triumeq who have no history of liver disease. Liver function tests may be done before and during treatment with Triumeq.

Do not take Triumeq if you take dofetilide (a medicine used to treat an irregular heartbeat). Taking Triumeq and dofetilide can cause side effects that may be life threatening.

While taking Triumeq, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.

What Is Triumeq?

Triumeq is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms). Triumeq can be used alone as a complete treatment regimen or with other HIV medicines.


Triumeq contains the following three different medicines combined in one pill:

  • Dolutegravir -- an HIV medicine called an integrase inhibitor.
  • Abacavir -- an HIV medicine called a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI).
  • Lamivudine -- another HIV medicine (also an NRTI).

Integrase inhibitors block an HIV enzyme called integrase, and NRTIs block an HIV enzyme called reverse transcriptase. By blocking integrase and reverse transcriptase, the three drugs in combination prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.

Triumeq is not for use by itself in people who have or have had resistance to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine.

HIV medicines can’t cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you are taking HIV medicines, including Triumeq, don’t cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.

What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Triumeq?

Before taking Triumeq, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to any of the HIV medicines in Triumeq (abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine) or any other medicines.
  • If you have been tested and know whether you have a particular gene variation called HLA-B*5701.
  • If you have or had liver problems, including hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you have heart problems; smoke; or have diseases that increase your risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages or take medicines that contain alcohol.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Whether Triumeq can harm an unborn baby is unknown. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking Triumeq when pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV or are taking Triumeq.
  • If you are using hormone-based birth control (such as pills, implants, or vaginal rings). For more information about using birth control and HIV medicines at the same time, view the AIDSinfo HIV and Birth Control infographic.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Triumeq may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how Triumeq works. Taking Triumeq together with certain medicines or products may cause serious, life-threatening side effects. Do not take Triumeq if you take dofetilide. Taking Triumeq and dofetilide together can cause side effects that may be serious or life threatening.

How Should I Take Triumeq?

Triumeq comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:

  • 600 mg abacavir (brand name: Ziagen)
  • 50 mg dolutegravir (brand name: Tivicay)
  • 300 mg lamivudine (brand name: Epivir)

Take Triumeq according to your health care provider's instructions.

Take Triumeq with or without food. If you are taking any other medicines, carefully follow instructions on how to take them with Triumeq.

If you take too much Triumeq, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on how to take Triumeq, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)

What Should I Do If I Forget a Dose?

If you miss a dose of Triumeq, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose. If you are not sure about your dosing, call your health care provider.

What Side Effects Can Triumeq Cause?

Triumeq may cause side effects. Many side effects from HIV medicines, such as nausea or occasional dizziness, are manageable. See the AIDSinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects for more information.

Some side effects of Triumeq can be serious. Serious side effects of Triumeq include allergic reactions, buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis), and severe liver problems. (See the WARNING box above.)

Other possible serious side effects of Triumeq include:

  • New or worsening changes in certain liver function tests.
  • Changes in your immune system (called immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome or IRIS). IRIS is a condition that sometimes occurs when the immune system begins to recover after treatment with an HIV medicine. As the immune system gets stronger, it may have an increased response to a previously hidden infection.
  • Increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction).

The most common side effects of Triumeq include trouble sleeping, headache, and tiredness.

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Triumeq. To learn more about possible side effects of Triumeq, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.

You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online.

How Should Triumeq Be Stored?

  • Store Triumeq at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep Triumeq in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed and protected from moisture. If the container has a small packet of drying agent (called a desiccant), do not remove it. The desiccant protects the medicine from moisture.
  • Do not use Triumeq if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away Triumeq that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep Triumeq and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where Can I Find More Information About Triumeq?

More information about Triumeq is available:

Manufacturer Information

ViiV Healthcare
Main number: 877-844-8872
Patient assistance (ViiV Connect): 844-588-3288

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet, film coated.

[Note from This article was created by AIDSinfo, who last updated it on July 2, 2018. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]

This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.