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HIV Protease Inhibitors

  • HIV Protease Inhibitors are a class of pharmaceuticals whose common mechanism of action is through inhibition HIV proteases. Their most important adverse effects are disturbance of lipid and glucose metabolism.
Mechanism of Action
  • Certain HIV structural proteins are synthesized together in single long polypeptides which must then be cleaved into the individual proteins (See: Replicative Cycle section of the HIV page). Virally-encoded proteases perform this task and are specifically inhibited by the HIV Protease Inhibitors. By doing so, protease inhibitors reduce viral replication and spread.
Adverse Effects
  • Most HIV Protease Inhibitors transiently cause nonspecific adverse effects including GI upset, nausea, vomiting, which often later subside. However, with chronic use, many protease inhibitors result in a syndrome of "Lipodystrophy" which manifests as a derangement of adiposity in which fat redistributes centrifugally as well as creating a "Buffalo Hump". With some Protease Inhibitors hyperlipidemias along with hyperglycemia mimicking Type II Diabetes may occur.
Member Drugs
  • Squinavir
  • Ritonavir
  • Indinavir
  • Nelfinavir
  • Amprenavir