Drug Names and Manufacturers
September 19, 2012
Combination medications: Some manufacturers have combined more than one drug into a single tablet or capsule. Combinations within a single class are listed below. Combinations of more than one type of drug are discussed in Fact Sheet 470.
1. Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors ("Nukes")
The first anti-HIV drugs. They block reverse transcription (the creation of viral DNA from RNA) by providing "decoy" building blocks that interrupt the process. Most are nucleoside analogs; tenofovir is a nucleotide analog.
2. Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
These also interrupt reverse transcription, by binding to the reverse transcriptase enzyme and restricting its activity.
3. Protease Inhibitors
Block the action of protease, an enzyme that cuts HIV protein chains into specific proteins needed to assemble a new copy of the virus. NOTE: when you see "/r" after the name of a protease inhibitor, that means it is boosted with a small dose of ritonavir. For example, SQV/r means saquinavir boosted with ritonavir. At present, only lopinavir and ritonavir are available in a single pill.
4. Integrase Inhibitors
Block the action of integrase, an enzyme that inserts the viral DNA into the infected cell's DNA strands.
5. Attachment and Fusion Inhibitors
Prevent HIV from attaching to a cell.
6. Antisense Drugs
These are a "mirror image" of part of the HIV genetic code that locks onto the virus to prevent it from functioning.
7. Immune Modulators
Use the body's chemical messengers to stimulate the immune response. Over a dozen immune modulators are being studied in humans.
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