Used in combination with other antiviral drugs in the treatment of HIV in both adults and children.
Nelfinavir is a protease inhibitor with activity against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1). Protease inhibitors block the part of HIV called protease. HIV-1 protease is an enzyme required for the proteolytic cleavage of the viral polyprotein precursors into the individual functional proteins found in infectious HIV-1. Nelfinavir binds to the protease active site and inhibits the activity of the enzyme. This inhibition prevents cleavage of the viral polyproteins resulting in the formation of immature non-infectious viral particles. Protease inhibitors are almost always used in combination with at least two other anti-HIV drugs.
Mode of Action:
Nelfinavir inhibits the HIV viral proteinase enzyme which prevents cleavage of the gag-pol polyprotein, resulting in noninfectious, immature viral particles.
Primarily hepatic via cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes. CYP3A and CYP2C19 appear to be the predominant enzymes that metabolize nelfinavir in humans. One major and several minor metabolites are found in plasma; the major oxidative metabolite has in vitro antiviral activity comparable to that of the parent drug.
Oral LD50 is over 5g/kg in rats. Side effects include thirst and hunger, unexplained weight loss, increased urination, fatigue, and dry, itchy skin.
Kaldor SW, Kalish VJ, Davies JF 2nd, Shetty BV, Fritz JE, Appelt K, Burgess JA, Campanale KM, Chirgadze NY, Clawson DK, Dressman BA, Hatch SD, Khalil DA, Kosa MB, Lubbehusen PP, Muesing MA, Patick AK, Reich SH, Su KS, Tatlock JH: Viracept (nelfinavir mesylate, AG1343): a potent, orally bioavailable inhibitor of HIV-1 protease. J Med Chem. 1997 Nov 21;40(24):3979-85. Pubmed
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