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Protease Inhibitors

A federal advisory committee Thursday recommended government approval of a powerful new drug that recent research has shown can decrease or prevent AIDS-related complications and prolong life in very sick patients. The drug, ritonavir, developed by Abbott Laboratories, is one of a new class of potent antiviral drugs called protease inhibitors that has excited AIDS specialists.
January 3, 1997 | LORI HAYCOX
Lorna Horn gets out of bed at 6:30 a.m. to shower and dress for school. Then she walks Dolly, the family's rambunctious Jack Russell terrier. These may not be big achievements for most 13-year-olds, but to Lorna and her parents, they are miraculous. A year ago, Lorna, who has AIDS, couldn't face mornings. Her stomach ached from the massive doses of drugs she took to stay alive. She didn't have the energy to shower, go to school or care for her dog. Often, she went to the hospital.
February 4, 1998
Mortality rates among people with AIDS have been declining ever since a strikingly effective class of drugs, protease inhibitors, became available in 1993. Now, newly released figures paint a bright picture indeed: From 1996 to 1997, AIDS deaths declined by 44% in the United States and by 55% in Los Angeles.
December 8, 1995 | From a Times Staff Writer
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday formally approved the first of a new generation of powerful AIDS drugs, a family of compounds that appear at least 10 times more potent than the existing most widely prescribed antiviral therapies. The agency's approval of the first of those drugs, saquinavir, came in record time--only three months after the company applied for licensing and one month after an FDA advisory committee urged the agency to send it to the market.
April 9, 2002 | From Associated Press
St. John's wort appears to interfere powerfully with a common cancer drug and can reduce its punch for weeks after people stop taking the herbal supplement, a study shows. St. John's wort is often taken as an over-the-counter remedy for mild depression, though its effectiveness has been questioned. Doctors also know the herb can interfere with the body's use of a variety of other medicines. In a small study released Monday, doctors showed that St.
November 7, 1995 | Associated Press
The drug 3TC should be approved as the first new initial therapy to treat AIDS since AZT, scientific advisers told the Food and Drug Administration on Monday. A combination of 3TC and AZT boosted the immune system of patients and lowered the amount of HIV in their blood. But more significantly, the drug combination showed more effect in patients who had never taken AZT than in those who had taken AZT alone, as is standard for most patients, manufacturer Glaxo Wellcome said.
August 18, 2006 | Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writer
Patients who took a single antiviral drug to combat AIDS fared as well as those on the typical three-drug cocktail, suggesting a simpler and cheaper way of suppressing the virus in the bloodstream, according to several preliminary studies presented Thursday at the International AIDS Conference here.
April 27, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II / For the Booster Shots blog
The Food and Drug Administration warned Friday that doctors should not prescribe and patients should not use the hepatitis C drug Victrelis (boceprevir) and the anti-HIV drug ritonavir at the same time because such use reduces the effectiveness of both drugs. Patients already using the two drugs simultaneously should not stop taking them without consulting their doctor, however, the agency cautioned. Ritonavir, a protease inhibitor, is commonly used to boost the effectiveness of other protease inhibitors and is found in Reyataz (atazanavir/ritonavir)
February 25, 2003 | From Reuters
Switzerland's Roche Holding on Monday priced its new HIV drug Fuzeon at a record-breaking $20,570 a year, fueling controversy about the cost of AIDS treatments. Roche said the high cost -- more than double the cost of other HIV/AIDS drugs on the market -- reflected the complexity of manufacturing the product, which involved more than 100 steps. Fuzeon is the first in a new class of drugs known as fusion inhibitors designed for people resistant to other AIDS medicines.
November 10, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Egrifta, the first drug designed specifically to treat lipodystrophy in HIV-positive patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy. In lipodystrophy, fat deposits accumulate in different areas of the body, most notably around the liver, stomach and other abdominal organs. The problem is associated primarily with  protease inhibitors, the family of drugs that made cocktails of antiretroviral drugs highly successful. Egrifta, known generically as tesamorelin, is a growth hormone-releasing factor that is administered in a once-daily injection.
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