Protease Inhibitors (PIs)

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List of Anti-HIV Meds Protease Inhibitors (PIs)
What are they?

Experimental drugs are italicized, and approved drugs are in regular, non-italicized type.

Brand Name Generic Name Abbreviation Experimental Code Pharmaceutical Company
Aptivus tipranavir TPV PNU-140690 Boehringer Ingelheim
Crixivan indinavir IDV MK-639 Merck & Co
Invirase saquinavir SQV Ro-31-8959 Genentech
Kaletra lopinavir + ritonavir LPV/r ABT-378/r AbbVie
Lexiva fosamprenavir FPV GW-433908 or VX-175 ViiV Healthcare
Norvir ritonavir RTV ABT-538 AbbVie
Prezista darunavir DRV TMC-114 Janssen Therapeutics
Reyataz atazanavir ATV BMS-232632 Bristol-Myers Squibb
Viracept nelfinavir NFV AG-1343 ViiV Healthcare


What are Protease Inhibitors (PIs)?

When HIV infects a CD4 cell in a person's body, it copies its own genetic code into the cell's DNA. The CD4 cell is then "programmed" to make new HIV genetic material and HIV proteins. The proteins must be cut up by the HIV protease—a protein-cutting enzyme—to make functional new HIV particles. PIs block the protease enzyme and prevent the cell from producing new viruses. It is recommended that they be used in combination with at least two other HIV drugs to treat HIV infection.

To learn more on how HIV infects a CD4 cell and begins to create more viruses, and where each class of anti-HIV drugs blocks this process, click on the following lesson link:

HIV Life Cycle Lesson
The HIV Life Cycle (and the targets of each class of anti-HIV drugs)


Last Revised: November 14, 2013

This content is written by the POZ and AIDSmeds editorial team. For more information, please visit our "About Us" page.


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