Protease Inhibitors: A cure for HIV

protease inhibitor

Protease inhibitors play a significant role in HAART. Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) is one of the most effective treatments of HIV. Its disadvantages are unbearable toxic and its bioavailability.

These are synthetic drugs. They hold back the action of HIV-1 in the body. In HIV, an enzyme splits up the two-parent protein into tiny fragments. These fragments require viral to spread up, increasing the infections. Protease Inhibitors prevent this separation so they could not spread disease.

Thus, more potential and safer protease inhibitors are in requirement. In this, we will discuss the chemical characteristics of protease inhibitors. This concept was founded in the year 1950s. Almost 20 different chemotherapeutic agents have been discovered for other viruses. However, most of these were to cure HIV, nucleoside analogs, and viral reverse transcription.

How does it work?

HIV tries to multiply its infectious virus into parts to spread quickly. Protease inhibitors work to prevent this split-up process. It blocks the enzymes responsible for HIV. This prevents them from performing their function and could not complete their cycle.  

This allows a person who has HIV to live this complete life without the risk of getting more infectious. Since protease is not a cure, it is prevention. But, it does decrease the effects of HIV on the body. 

Protease inhibitors drugs

Although there are not many protease inhibitors, primarily healthcare suggests these drugs listed below. 

  • nelfinavir (Viracept)
  • darunavir/cobicistat (Prezcobix)
  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • atazanavir/cobicistat (Evotaz)
  • darunavir (Prezista)
  • tipranavir (Aptivus)
  • fosamprenavir (Lexiva)
  • saquinavir (Invirase)
  • indinavir (Crixivan)
  • ritonavir (Norvir)
  • lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
protease inhibitors

Side effects of protease inhibitors

The side effects of these can be severe sometimes. Side effects depend on our immune system, previous infection history, or other medications. The common side effects are listed below.

  • Nausea
  • Kidney stones
  • Vomiting
  • Lower back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody urination
  • Rashes
  • Blood sugar
  • Increased body fat
  • Liver damage
  • Heart problems
  • Jaundice
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Lipodystrophy
  • Kidney stones
  • Hyperlipidemia

Protease inhibitors interactions

Its interaction with other medications, vitamins, supplements, or herbs can have serious side effects. It is mandatory to consume these under guidance or only if prescribed by a doctor.

The kind of drugs that can interact with protease is as follows.

  • simvastatin (Zocor)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol 
  • pitavastatin (Livalo, Nikita, Zypitamag)
  • lovastatin (Altoprev)
  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • pravastatin (Pravachol)

Some medications can be life-threatening if used with protease inhibitors. The other kinds of drugs that can be taken with protease are blood-thinning medications, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, anti-anxiety medications, diabetes medicines, and antidepressants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you inhibit protease activity?

It can be attached during cell extension. 

What foods have protease inhibitors?

The list of foods having protease are listed below:

  • Kunitz
  • Potato I & II
  • Serpine
  • Mustard
  • Cereal
  • Squash
  • Bowman-Birk
  • Rapeseed
protease inhibitors

What stage do Protease inhibitors prevent?

These are, in most cases, used to cure HIV-1 protease. 

What is a protease inhibitor cocktail?

It has been proved remarkably useful and valuable for researchers. It inhibits the breakdown of proteins in cells or tissues. This is done to investigate the blocking activity of the protease. 

Multiple protease classes have been developed to integrate its effects on protein; cocktails are one of them. Sigma-Aldrich is the broadest range of protease inhibitors.

protease inhibitors tablets

How long do protease inhibitors last?

One year

How do you make a protease inhibitor drink?

Mix the 20 ml inhibitor solution with H2O. the resulting solution will be 100 times protease inhibitor cocktail. Store at -20 ºC until required.

How do you dissolve protease inhibitor tablets?

Take 50 ml water or aqueous buffer and let dissolve one tablet in it. The dilution differs depending on the condition. Consult your doctor for accurate dosage.

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