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Clin Ther. 2000 May;22(5):549-72.

Amprenavir: a new human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease inhibitor.

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Pharmacy Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, New York 10468, USA.



This paper reviews the pharmacologic properties and clinical usefulness of amprenavir, a new human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitor.


Amprenavir, the most recent HIV-1 protease inhibitor to receive marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, is a potent competitive inhibitor of HIV-1 protease and a relatively weak inhibitor of HIV-2 protease. Inhibition of the HIV-1 protease enzyme results in immature and noninfectious viral particles. Amprenavir is rapidly absorbed following oral administration. The time to peak concentration (Tmax) in adults is between 1 and 2 hours, the area under the plasma concentration versus time curve is roughly proportional to the dose, the half-life is approximately 8 hours, and the volume of distribution is approximately 430 L. The Tmax in children 4 to 12 years of age is between 1.1 and 1.4 hours. The bioavailability of the solution is 86% relative to the capsule formulation. It is metabolized by the cytochrome P-450 isozyme CYP3A4 and to a lesser extent by CYP2D6 and CYP2C9.


We searched MEDLINE (1966 to January 2000), AIDSLINE (1980 to January 2000), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970 to January 2000), PharmaProjects (January 2000 version), and Web sites of major HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome conferences for appropriate published references (1996 to February 2000).


Data reported to date indicate that amprenavir is efficacious in the treatment of HIV disease in patients with primary HIV infection, antiretroviral-naïve patients, protease inhibitor-naïve patients, protease inhibitor-experienced patients, and pediatric patients. Adverse effects were usually of early onset (range, 2 to 21 days) and transient (range, 3 to 46 days), although the incidence of metabolic abnormalities such as lipodystrophy, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus has not yet been defined. Amprenavir should be avoided in patients with a known sulfonamide allergy. Concomitant use of other medications that are CYP3A4 inducers or inhibitors should be done cautiously and only if the potential benefit clearly outweighs potential risk. The dose should be reduced in patients with significant hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score, > or = 5). Amprenavir probably should not be administered with rifabutin, rifampin, astemizole, midazolam , triazolam, bepridil, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, or cisapride. The recommended adult dose is 1200 mg twice daily. For patients between 4 and 12 years of age or between 13 and 16 years of age who weigh < 50 kg, the recommended dosage of the capsule form is 20 mg/kg (22.5 mg/kg for oral solution) twice daily or 15 mg/kg (17 mg/kg for oral solution) 3 times a day to a maximum dose of 2400 mg (2800 mg for oral solution). Patients should not take vitamin E supplements because amprenavir is formulated with a large amount of vitamin E (109 IU/capsule and 46 IU/mL oral solution) to improve oral absorption. Amprenavir may be administered with or without food, but a high-fat meal (> 67 g fat) should be avoided.


Published clinical data are limited, but amprenavir appears to be efficacious and generally well tolerated in patients with HIV infection. Pharmacoeconomic data are not yet available. The introduction of amprenavir appears to be important, since it provides an additional treatment option as a component of both initial and salvage combination therapies for patients with HIV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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