How do protease inhibitors work?




Andvantages of Combination Drug Therapy

The combination of protease inhibitors and reverse transcriptase inhibitors is possible because there is no bad interaction between the two drugs. Protease inhibitors are processed by the liver while reverse transcriptase inhibiters are processed in nonliver cells. Since these two types of drugs attack at different stages of the HIV's life cycle there is more of a chance to cause some damage in the virus. There is also less of a chance for the virus to become resistant to both types of drugs.
Protease inhibitors can be combined as well. The combination of ritonavir and saquinavir have been tested. The chance for cross-resistance is low and ritonavir slows down the rate at which saquinavir leaves the body and so saquinavir can stick around longer to attack the virus.

Side Effects

The side effects for ritonavir seem to be the most severe. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of them. For indinavir, the side effects are kidney stones, which can cause pain in the back and side. Saquinavir seems to have the least side effects. Nausea, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort occur in very few people.

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HIV Protease

HIV Protease Inhibitors



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This page was last updated on January 29, 1997