HIV-protease inhibitorsA range of drugs that interfere with the enzyme produced by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that allows it to replicate itself in human cells. Recent guidelines for the early treatment of HIV infection recommend that all such patients should be given HIV-protease inhibitor drugs. Currently, these drugs are indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir) and saquinavir (Invirase). A further drug, amprenavir, is under investigation. These drugs, used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs cause a sustained reduction in HIV replication and reduce morbidity and prolong life. Their side effects include excess weight gain from fat deposition (see HIV LIPOATROPHY).
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005