Effectiveness of dolutegravir-based regimens as either first-line or switch antiretroviral therapy: data from the Icona cohort

Claudia Colomba, Antonio Cascio, Rosa Fontana Del Vecchio

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Concerns about dolutegravir (DTG) tolerability in the real-life setting have recently arisen. We aimed to estimate the risk of treatment discontinuation and virological failure of DTG-based regimens from a large cohort of HIV-infected individuals. Methods: We performed a multicentre, observational study including all antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve and virologically suppressed treatment-experienced (TE) patients from the Icona (Italian Cohort Naïve Antiretrovirals) cohort who started, for the first time, a DTG-based regimen from January 2015 to December 2017. We estimated the cumulative risk of DTG discontinuation regardless of the reason and for toxicity, and of virological failure using Kaplan–Meier curves. We used Cox regression model to investigate predictors of DTG discontinuation. Results: About 1679 individuals (932 ART-naïve, 747 TE) were included. The one- and two-year probabilities (95% CI) of DTG discontinuation were 6.7% (4.9 to 8.4) and 11.5% (8.7 to 14.3) for ART-naïve and 6.6% (4.6 to 8.6) and 7.6% (5.4 to 9.8) for TE subjects. In both ART-naïve and TE patients, discontinuations of DTG were mainly driven by toxicity with an estimated risk (95% CI) of 4.0% (2.6 to 5.4) and 2.5% (1.3 to 3.6) by one year and 5.6% (3.8 to 7.5) and 4.0% (2.4 to 5.6) by two years respectively. Neuropsychiatric events were the main reason for stopping DTG in both ART-naïve (2.1%) and TE (1.7%) patients. In ART-naïve, a concomitant AIDS diagnosis predicted the risk of discontinuing DTG for any reason (adjusted relative hazard (aRH) = 3.38, p = 0.001), whereas starting DTG in combination with abacavir (ABC) was associated with a higher risk of discontinuing because of toxicity (aRH = 3.30, p = 0.009). TE patients starting a DTG-based dual therapy compared to a triple therapy had a lower risk of discontinuation for any reason (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 2.50, p = 0.037 for ABC-based triple-therapies, aHR = 3.56, p = 0.012 for tenofovir-based) and for toxicity (aHR = 5.26, p = 0.030 for ABC-based, aHR = 6.60, p = 0.024 for tenofovir-based). The one- and two-year probabilities (95% CI) of virological failure were 1.2% (0.3 to 2.0) and 4.6% (2.7 to 6.5) in the ART naïve group and 2.2% (1.0 to 3.3) and 2.9% (1.5 to 4.3) in the TE group. Conclusions: In this large cohort, DTG showed excellent efficacy and optimal tolerability both as first-line and switching ART. The low risk of treatment-limiting toxicities in ART-naïve as well as in treated individuals reassures on the use of DTG in everyday clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the International AIDS Society
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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