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Rev Med Virol. 2009 Sep;19(5):287-99. doi: 10.1002/rmv.624.

The history of antiretrovirals: key discoveries over the past 25 years.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Within 25 years after zidovudine (3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxythymidine, AZT) was first described as an inhibitor of HIV replication, 25 anti-HIV drugs have been formally approved for clinical use in the treatment of HIV infections: seven nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs): zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitabine, stavudine, lamivudine, abacavir and emtricitabine; one nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NtRTI): tenofovir [in its oral prodrug form: tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)]; four non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs): nevirapine, delavirdine, efavirenz and etravirine; ten protease inhibitors (PIs): saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, amprenavir, lopinavir, atazanavir, fosamprenavir, tipranavir and darunavir; one fusion inhibitor (FI): enfuvirtide; one co-receptor inhibitor (CRI): maraviroc and one integrase inhibitor (INI): raltegravir. These compounds are used in various drug combination (some at fixed dose) regimens so as to achieve the highest possible benefit and tolerability, and to diminish the risk of virus-drug resistance development.

(c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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