The nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and protease inhibitors in the treatment of HIV infections (AIDS)

Adv Pharmacol. 2013;67:317-58. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-405880-4.00009-3.


The majority of the drugs currently used for the treatment of HIV infections (AIDS) belong to either of the following three classes: nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), and protease inhibitors (PIs). At present, there are 7 NRTIs, 5 NNRTIs, and 10 PIs approved for clinical use. They are discussed from the following viewpoints: (i) chemical formulae; (ii) mechanism of action; (iii) drug combinations; (iv) clinical aspects; (v) preexposure prophylaxis; (vi) prevention of mother-to-child transmission; (vii) their use in children; (viii) toxicity; (ix) adherence (compliance); (x) resistance; (xi) new NRTIs, NNRTIs, or PIs in (pre)clinical development; and (xii) the prospects for a "cure" of the disease.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; NNRTIs; NRTIs; PIs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / virology
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Drug Resistance, Viral
  • Drugs, Investigational / therapeutic use
  • HIV / drug effects*
  • HIV / enzymology*
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Drugs, Investigational
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors