Can I stay on my current medication?
My doctor has suggested I change to a new combination of dolutegravir and 3TC. I’m happy on my current combination. She says I’m on old drugs (darunavir). I feel she is pressuring me to change. Can I stay on my current meds?
Hi, how are you doing?
Are you taking darunavir with any other medication? It is not a drug to be used as monotherapy and is usually given with other medications to boost it (ritonovir or cobicistat) and other drugs to provide greater coverage for HIV suppression.
In this new recommendation are you being offered dolutegravir, 3TC and tenofovir? Just the two combination would not be suitable and dual therapy isn’t recommended.
This recommendation of switch is becoming more common. As darunavir should be a boosted drug with another medication, there is a greater risk of side effect and puts more strain on the body. Switching will remove the need for a boosted combination. A dolutegravir backbone combination is generally better tolerated by people than boosted combinations. Fewer side effects are noticed. There is also the benefit that you would not need to take this medication with food.
Has your doctor had this discussion with you? Why are you feeling pressured to switch? If you are comfortable with your treatment, this should be considered. But is also important that your doctor suggests newer and better tolerated combinations. Your doctor doing this shows that they are involved in your care and making sure you can continue to make informed decisions about your own care.