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Category: HIV/AIDS Drugs


What is antiretroviral therapy (ART)?

Usually, the medication that refers to treat the HIV infection belongs to the group of antiretroviral medication. The process of treating HIV or Aids in humans with the help of medication is antiretroviral therapy (ART). People who are at the initial stage and diagnose with HIV usually get the recommendation to start the therapy. It is not a cure but a relief that helps to avoid the complications and lead a normal lifestyle. in most chronical conditions antiretroviral therapy helps to slow down viruses to spread inside the body or to others as well.

Protease inhibitors (PIs)

Protease inhibitors belong to the antiretroviral medication group and help in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. These are the drugs with the characters to stop the virus multiplication. It breakdown the protein or block it to perform the function that is necessary to make virus survival possible. The continuous use of the drugs as per prescription will help to stop the infection spread to other cells inside the human body.

Rarely used PIs

There is some protease inhibitor that are rarely used for HIV treatment. The main reason to not use such drugs is the high ratio of the possible side effects. Here is some rarely used protease inhibitors:

  • Indinavir
  • Nelfinavir
  • Saquinavir

Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)

In the body HIV needs the perfect supply of building blocks including proteins to continue the virus multiplication process. The use of Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors is useful to stop and restrict the supply of the proteins. Moreover, it provides an inactive protein source that will not help in the process of the growth or spread of the virus inside the body.

Combination NRTIs

The combination NRTIs are as following:

  • Abacavir
  • Didanosine
  • Lamivudine
  • Tenofovir alafenamide
  • Zidovudine
  • Stavudine

Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs)

HIV uses the enzyme integrase to trigger the multiplication process of the virus inside the body. It is an important factor of the treatment to stop the action of this instigation by blocking the integrase. With the integrase inhibitors (INSTIs) it is easier to stop the function of the enzyme and not let it allow to infect the T-cells inside the body. INSTIs don’t have many side effects and prove effective for those who are recently in contact with HIV.

Cytochrome P4503A (CYP3A) inhibitors

The body will perform a function with the help of multiple enzymes and elements. Similarly, Cytochrome P4503A (CYP3A) is an enzyme present in the liver that effectively participates in metabolic functions. With the help of Cytochrome P4503A inhibitor, it is easier to increase the level of HIV drugs inside the body that fight the virus. Mostly this drug is used or prescribed in combination with other HIV drugs for better results.

Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)

The purpose of using HIV medications is to stop the virus spread inside the body. With the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, it is easier to stop the multiplication of the virus. It binds directly with the protein that plays role in the multiplication of HIV and stops the process. Further, the virus will not be able to develop the copies due to the protein blockage. It is an effective medication on its own or useful to combine with other medications for best results.

Chemokine coreceptor antagonists (CCR5 antagonists)

Chemokine Coreceptor antagonists work to block the entry of the virus inside the cells. It helps to save the T-cells from the virus intact and control the spread of the virus effectively. Usually, CCR5 antagonists are used in combination or alone to treat HIV or avoid possible complications due to the virus. Maraviroc is the only available CCR5 antagonist that works for HIV patients to avoid future complications.

Fusion inhibitors

Fusion inhibitors are one the classes of HIV medications that work effectively to treat it. The spread of HIV is only possible when there’s a suitable atmosphere to grow and start the multiplication process. The virus requires the host’s T-cells inside the body to do the replication. The use of fusion inhibitor blocks the virus from entering the T-cells. It saves cell damage, stops virus replication and blocks the spread.

Enfuvirtide as a commonly used fusion inhibitor prescribed by health advisors to treat HIV.

Entry inhibitors

The use of the entry inhibitors is considered effective to treat HIV and to stop its spread. In the antiretroviral medications group, the use of all big group medicines is proven to be an effective element to treat the virus. Usually, the CCR5, fusion inhibitors, and others are all considered as entry inhibitors. The purpose of entry inhibitor medications is to stop the spread of the virus and prevent its entry inside the T-cells to stop the influence of the virus over the healthy cells.

In general, enfuvirtide, ibalizumab-quirky, and maraviroc are classified to be entry inhibitors that stop the virus entry.

Combination drugs

Combination drugs are commonly used for treatment of HIV, and it’s when different medications are combined in one drug. It helps in the prescription that the doctor can advise the one drug instead of recommending more than one. Most combination drugs for tthe treatment of HIV contain protease inhibitors and CYPA3A to effectively work against the virus. Some combination drugs also contain NRTIs.

Some combination drugs consisting of PI and CYPA3A are:

  • Atazanavir and cobicistat
  • Lopinavir and ritonavir

Combination drugs consisting of NRTIs:

  • Abacavir, lamivudine and zidovudine
  • Amtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
  • Lamivudine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Lamivudine and zidovudine

There are many more combination drugs available in the market that are considered effective for the treatment of HIV.

Multiclass combination drugs or single-tablet regimens (STRs)

There is a wide variety of drugs among multiclass combination drugs, that help the treatment of HIV and give effective results.

There are some combination drugs include NRTIs and NNRTIs:

  • Emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
  • Emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Doravirine, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Efavirenz, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Efavirenz, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate

Combination drugs consisting of NRTIs, INSTI, CYP3A:

  • Elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
  • Elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate

Combination drugs consisting of NRTI and INSTI to treat HIV:

  • abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine
  • bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
  • dolutegravir and lamivudine

Side effects & responses

Side effects of combination drgus vary from person to person. The common side effects are as following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Skin aches or rashes
  • Vomiting or others

Some of the side effects of combination drugs go away on their own after a period of time. But if they are persistent or get severe, it is suggested to consult a health care provider. Do not stop taking the drugs until the doctor prescribes you to do so. Moreover, the variation in the dosage should be followed as prescribed by the doctor.

Showing 1–16 of 34 results

  • What is 3TC (Lamivudine, Epivir)? Also called Epivir, 3TC is categorized as an antiretroviral medicine used in treating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This drug is often taken with other HIV medications, such as zidovudine and abacavir. It comes in the form of a tablet and oral solution, making it easy to consume for adults …

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  • What is Aptivus (Tipranavir)? One of the most used antiretroviral medicine is Aptivus. It is not recommended to be used alone, which means that it must be taken with other ARV drugs, such as ritonavir. This medication is mostly given to adults to treat treating HIV infection but is also suitable for children at least 2 …

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  • What is Atripla? HIV treatment observes the rule of ART or antiretroviral therapy, which means taking a fixed-dose combination of ARV drugs. This form of treatment includes Atripla.  This ARV drug is a combination of three different drugs. 600mg of efavirenz 300mg of tenofovir disoproxil 200mg of emtricitabine Atripla medication is also available under names such as Viraday …

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  • What is Biktarvy (Bictegravir/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenemide?) Biktarvy is a combination drug that provides medical alleviation to people with HIV infection. Its main components are bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide. This medicine works by inhibiting the infection from replicating within the body. It is suitable for adults and children. How does it work? Similar to other antiviral …

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  • What is Celsentri (Maraviroc)? Known as a CCR5-receptor antagonist, Celsentri is one of the most used drugs in treating HIV. It is often consumed with other ARV drugs, which means that the dosage requires another form of HIV drug to be used. Celsentri Common Prescription: Common dosage requires 150 mg and 300 mg tablet For …

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  • What is Combivir (Lamivudine/Zidovudine)? Known as one of the fixed-dose combinations for HIV treatment, Combivir is comprised of 150 mg lamivudine and 300 mg zidovudine. This antiretroviral medication comes in the form of a tablet, perfect for adults and children who are at least 14 kgs. This drug can be purchased under the names Lazid and …

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  • What is Complera (Emtricitabine/Rilpivirine/Tenofovir)? Categorized as one of the fixed-dose combinations of ARV medications, Complera is composed of Emtricitabine (200 mg), Rilpivirine (25 mg), and Tenofovir (300 mg). This medication comes in the form of a tablet, and can be prescribed for individuals who have HIV, whether it be adults or children. Like other HIV treatments, Complera is …

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  • What is Descovy (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir AF)? A popular mixture of ARV medication is Descovy. Aside from its main function as an HIV therapy, the said medication is also utilized as a PrEP. Its two main components are Emtricitabine and Tenofovir. Descovy Usual Prescription: Prescribe for both adults and children Children prescription – 12 years and above Also, prescribe as …

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  • What is Edurant (Rilpivirine)? Acting as an antiretroviral medicine, Edurant assists people who have HIV. Since there is still no cure for the infection, Edurant can be used as therapy. This medication is available for patients 12 years old and above. Its generic name is Rilpivirine. How does Edurant work? As a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor …

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  • What is Genvoya? Containing four antiretroviral medicines, notably elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide, Genvoya is categorized as another form of fixed dose ARV medication. It is one of the used drugs for antiretroviral therapy. Take this coated tablet to relieve symptoms and treat viral infections caused by HIV. The said medication is suitable for children …

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  • What is Intelence (Etravirine)? Also known by its brand label Etravirine, Intelence refers to a form of ART drug (antiretroviral) used to provide relief and medical alleviation for HIV. The medicine is usually utilized with other ART medications, comprising its effectiveness in the field. It applies to individuals who are HIV positive, especially adults and younger children …

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  • What is Invirase (Saquinavir)? Combined with Ritonavir, Invirase is an HIV medicine that can treat the said infection. Its main job is to control the viral load, making it possible for the person to stay healthy as long as the medication is taken. Invirase and Fortovase are the brand names of generic Saquinavir. How does Invirase work? Similar …

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  • What is Isentress (Raltegravir)? Specifically designed to treat people with HIV, Isentress is an HIV drug available by prescription. Isentress is the brand name of Raltegravir. The drug comes in the form of 400mg and 600mg tablets. It is also available under the name Zepdon. How does Isentress work? Isentress is part of a group of medicines called …

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  • What is Kaletra (Lopinavir/Ritonavir)? Kalentra is a mixture of ART medicines (antiretroviral), specifically Lopinavir and Ritonavir, that is used to treat HIV infection. Kaletra is the brand name of Lopinavir / Ritonavir and is also available under Lopimune. How does it work? It is composed of protease inhibitors, so Kaletra affects the ability of the virus to …

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  • What is Kivexa (Epzicom)? As a mixed combination of ARV medicines, Kivexa is composed of Abacavir and Lamivudine. With its effectiveness in giving aid to people who have HIV, this medicine is a perfect choice for the said medical therapy.  Kivexa is the brand name of Abacavir-Lamivudine and is available under the name Epzicom, A-Bec L and …

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  • What is Norvir (Ritonavir)? Combined with other HIV prescription drugs, Norvir is confirmed to be effective in treating HIV. With its classification for people, regardless of age, this medicine is already accessible with a prescription from your doctor. Norvir is the brand name of Ritonavir and is also available under the name Ritomune. How does Norvir work? Norvir …

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