Understanding Protease Inhibitors in HIV/AIDS Treatment

Protease inhibitors are medications that interfere with the activity of protease enzymes, crucial for viral replication. They are commonly used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Where to get
Available with a doctor's prescription at pharmacies.
Applicable for
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Protease Inhibitors FAQ

Image credit: clinicalinfo.hiv.gov

What is a protease inhibitor?

The term “protease inhibitor” refers to a class of medications rather than to a single medication. Specifically, they are antiviral drugs. But unlike the many, more common antiviral drugs that can be used to fight against viruses such as flus, protease inhibitors can also be used to help combat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) .

What are antiretrovirals & protease inhibitors?

These drugs are called antiretrovirals because they work against retroviruses such as HIV. Protease inhibitors work to reduce the amount of HIV virus in the blood, also known as viral load. This slows the progression of HIV and helps treat symptoms.

What is a protease inhibitor (PI)?

(January 2020) Protease inhibitors ( PIs) are medications that act by interfering with enzymes that cleave proteins. Some of the most well known are antiviral drugs widely used to treat HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and COVID-19.

What are the benefits of protease inhibitors?

Benefits of protease inhibitors include: They can keep levels of HIV undetectable as part of ART treatment. They can help cure hepatitis C infections. They can help prevent a COVID-19 infection from becoming severe. What are the side effects or complications of protease inhibitors?

What are the side effects of protease inhibitors?

Protease inhibitors treat certain viral infections by preventing the virus from making more copies of itself. They’re a critical part of HIV treatment. There are also protease inhibitors that help treat hepatitis C and COVID-19. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting and rash. What are protease inhibitors?

Protease Inhibitors References

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