HIV Drug groups - Protease inhibitors


Protease inhibitors (PIs) are a class of medications used to treat or prevent infection by viruses, including HIV and Hepatitis C. PIs prevent viral replication by inhibiting the activity of HIV-1 protease, an enzyme used by the viruses to cleave nascent proteins for final assembly of new virons.
Protease inhibitors have been developed or are presently undergoing testing for treating various viruses:
HIV/AIDS: antiretroviral protease inhibitors such assaquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir etc.

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Saquinavir
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Saquinavir is an antiretroviral drug used in HIV therapy. It falls in the protease inhibitor class. Two formulations have been marketed:
a hard-gel capsule formulation of the mesylate, with trade name Invirase®, which requires combination with ritonavir to increase the saquinavir bioavailability; a soft-gel capsule formulation of saquinavir, with trade name Fortovase®. Both formulations are generally used as a component of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Ritonavir
Ritonavir, with trade name Norvir® (Abbott Laboratories), is an antiretroviral drug from the protease inhibitor class used to treat HIV infection and AIDS.
Ritonavir is frequently prescribed with HAART, not for its antiviral action, but as it inhibits the same host enzyme that metabolizes other protease inhibitors. This inhibition leads to higher plasma concentrations of these latter drugs, allowing the clinician to lower their dose and frequency and improving their clinical efficacy.

Indinavir
Indinavir (IDV; trade name Crixivan, manufactured by Merck) is a protease inhibitor used as a component of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV infection and AIDS.
Nelfinavir
Nelfinavir (Viracept®) is an antiretroviral drug used in the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Nelfinavir belongs to the class of drugs known as protease inhibitors (PIs) and like other PIs is generally used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. Nelfinavir is presented as the mesilate (mesylate) ester prodrug.
Nelfinavir mesylate (Viracept, formally AG1343) is a potent and orally bioavailable human immunodeficiency virus HIV-1 protease inhibitor (Ki=2nM) and is being widely prescribed in combination with HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitors for the treatment of HIV infection. Nelfinavir mesylate contains the Castor oil derivative Cremophor EL

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