HIV Protease Inhibitors

Drugs used to treat HIV work at various points in the HIV replication cycle. Protease inhibitors prevent the protease enzyme from cutting the HIV proteins into the proper lengths needed to allow the virus to assemble the bud out of the cell membrane.

HIV Protease Inhibitors Drugs

Below is a list of some of the drugs in the protease inhibitor class.

  • Saquinavir (Fortovase, invirase)
  • Indinavir (Crixivan)
  • Ritonavir (Norvir)
  • Nelfinavir (Viracept)
  • Atazanavir (Lexiva)
  • Tipranavir (Aptivus)
  • Darunavir (Prezista)
  • Lopinavir + ritonavir (Kaletra)

HIV Protease Inhibitors Uses

Protease inhibitors are primarily used to treat HIV. While it does not provide a cure, this treatment can slow the clinical progression of HIV.

HIV Protease Inhibitors Side Effects

Protease inhibitors can have a variety of side effects. Side effects are listed below and categorized by the affected region.

Central nervous system

  • Dizziness
  • Somnolence
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Paresthesia
  • Headache
  • Seizures


  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Dry mouth


  • Pain
  • Myalgias

HIV Protease Inhibitors Interactions

Certain protease inhibitors can enhance the effects of other antiretrovirals when taken together. They can also interfere with anticoagulants and oral contraceptives in women. Abstaining from all sexual activity is an effective way to help the treatment's progression, but there are safe options for those who cannot or do not wish to abstain. Drug and alcohol use can alter drug function. Protease inhibitors can cause life-threatening dysrhythmias when taken with:

Main HIV Protease Inhibitors Drugs

Norvir Prezista Reyataz

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