Protease inhibitor combinations: a breakthrough in treating HIV infection
Protease inhibitors are a key component of the new era of AIDS treatment. Treating patients with HIV infection with a protease inhibitor in addition to 1 or 2 nucleoside analogues leads to dramatic reductions in viral load. This has been demonstrated in a study of saquinavir, zidovudine and lamivudine. A trial investigating the clinical effects of saquinavir + zalcitabine has also shown that dual therapy prolongs survival in this patient group, compared with either drug alone. Another important development is the use of 2 protease inhibitors to treat HIV infection. Preliminary data from a study of saquinavir [F Hoffmann-La Roche] + ritonavir [Abbott] have shown that this well-tolerated combination leads to profound viral suppression. These studies were presented at the 11th International Conference on AIDS [ Vancouver, Canada; July 1996 ].