Clinical update: impact of HIV protease inhibitors on the treatment of HIV-infected tuberculosis patients with rifampin

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1996 Oct 25;45(42):921-5.


In 1995 and 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved three products in the new protease inhibitor class of drugs--saquinavir (Invirase), ritonavir (Norvir), and indinavir (Crixivan). Another drug in this class of agents, nelfinavir (Viracept) (Agouron Pharmaceuticals), is expected to be available soon from the manufacturer through an expanded-access program. All four drugs, which inhibit HIV protease and thus interfere with viral maturation and replication, are the most potent antiretroviral agents available to treat patients with HIV disease. However, these protease inhibitors interact with rifamycin derivatives, such as rifampin and rifabutin, which are used to treat and prevent the mycobacterial infections commonly observed in HIV-infected patients. Rifamycins accelerate the metabolism of protease inhibitors (through induction of hepatic P450 cytochrome oxidases), resulting in subtherapeutic levels of the protease inhibitors. In addition, protease inhibitors retard the metabolism of rifamycins, resulting in increased serum levels of rifamycins and the likelihood of increased drug toxicity. This report describes approaches for managing patients who are candidates for or who are undergoing protease inhibitor therapy when tuberculosis (TB) is diagnosed and presents interim recommendations for managing these patients until additional data are available and formal guidelines are issued.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular / pharmacology
  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular / therapeutic use*
  • Contraindications
  • Drug Interactions
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Rifampin / pharmacology
  • Rifampin / therapeutic use*
  • Tuberculosis / complications*
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Rifampin