More Info on Aptivus Indications
Aptivus is a protease inhibitor. Protease inhibitors work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. Once inside an infected cell, the HIV virus uses the cell to make DNA, which enables it to make new HIV viruses that can spread to other cells. The DNA is made in long strands that must be clipped into shorter, usable strands using enzymes called proteases.
Aptivus stops protease enzymes from clipping DNA into short strands. Since the long, unclipped DNA strands cannot be used to make new viruses, this helps stop the spread of HIV to other uninfected cells. The medication is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, however. It can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.
Aptivus is always used in combination with ritonavir. Ritonavir increases the level of Aptivus in the blood, helping it work better. This is known as "boosting." Ritonavir is used to boost several different HIV medications.
Aptivus is approved for treating HIV or AIDS in children as young as two years old. Just as in adults, Aptivus is approved for children only when combined with ritonavir and only after other HIV medications have been tried. Also like in adults, Aptivus is approved only for children with strains of HIV that are resistant to more than one protease inhibitor. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Aptivus for treating something other than HIV infection and AIDS. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, Aptivus is used off-label to prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the virus (such as a healthcare worker who comes in contact with a contaminated needle stick). This is called postexposure prophylaxis (PEP).