- What are protease inhibitors (PIs), and how do they work?
- List of 16 examples of brand and generic names available for protease inhibitors (PIs) in the US
- What are the uses for protease inhibitors (PIs)?
- What are the side effects of HIV protease inhibitors (PIs)?
- What are the side effects of hepatitis C virus protease inhibitors (PIs)?
- What drug interactions occur with protease inhibitors (PIs)?
- Are protease inhibitors (PIs) safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What forms and preparations of protease inhibitors (PIs) are available?
What are protease inhibitors (PIs), and how do they work?
During infection with HIV or hepatitis C, the HIV or HCV multiply within the body's cells. Viruses are released from the cells and spread throughout the body where they infect other cells. In this manner, HIV and hepatitis C infection is perpetuated among new cells that the body produces continually. During the production of the viruses, new proteins are made. Some of the proteins are structural proteins that form the body of the virus. Other proteins are enzymes that manufacture DNA and other components for the new viruses. Protease is an enzyme that is used in the formation of new structural proteins and enzymes. Protease inhibitors block the activity of protease (cleavage of protein precursors needed for viral structure synthesis) and this results in the formation of defective viruses that are unable to infect the body's cells. As a result, the number of HIV or hepatitis C viruses in the body (the viral load) decreases.
List of 16 examples of brand and generic names available for protease inhibitors (PIs) in the US
HIV protease inhibitors
- Aptivus (tipranavir)
- Reyataz (atazanavir)
- Crixivan, IDV (indinavir)
- Prezista (darunavir)
- Lexiva (fosamprenavir)
- Invirase (saquinavir)
- Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)
- Viracept (nelfinavir)
- Norvir (ritonavir)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitors
- Victrelis (boceprevir - discontinued)
- Incivek (telaprevir - discontinued)
- Olysio (simeprevir)
- Technivie (ombitasvir/paritaprevir and ritonavir, a combination of these three drugs)
- Viekira Pak (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir and dasabuvir, a combination of these four drugs)
What are the uses for protease inhibitors (PIs)?
- Protease inhibitors are used to treat HIV or hepatitis C virus infections. HIV protease inhibitors do not prevent the transmission of HIV among individuals, and they do not cure HIV infection or AIDS. However, HIV protease inhibitors can reduce the viral load to very low levels and reduce the risk of opportunistic infections. The discovery of HIV protease inhibitors revolutionized the management of HIV infection and the course of the disease.
- Hepatitis C virus protease inhibitors can cure hepatitis C infection, and are more effective than other hepatitis C treatments.
- The FDA approved the first hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor in 2011.
What are the side effects of HIV protease inhibitors (PIs)?
Common side effects of HIV protease inhibitors:
Serious side effects of HIV protease inhibitors include:
- Skin reactions
- Liver failure
- Failure of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Redistribution or accumulation of body fat
- Increased cholesterol
- Worsening of diabetes
- Heart block
- Immune reconstitution syndrome
Quick GuideHepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment
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