The efficacy of sequential protease inhibitor therapy was studied in 16 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) 1-infected persons in whom saquinavir with multiple nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors (NRTI) had failed. Nelfinavir plus two NRTIs (new or continued) resulted in minimal (0.59 log RNA copies/mL) and transient (8 weeks) suppression of plasma HIV RNA levels. Rapid failure was surprisingly associated with baseline presence of protease gene mutation L90M (P=.04) in the absence of D30N and with RT mutations D67N (P<.01), K70R/S (P=.02), and K219Q/W/R/E (P<.01). Ten patients were subsequently switched to indinavir plus nevirapine and 2 NRTIs, resulting in a median 1.62 log reduction in plasma HIV RNA, with 3 patients maintaining 400 copies/mL for 24 weeks. These results suggest that nelfinavir may have limited utility after saquinavir failure, particularly without potent concomitant therapy. Combining an NRTI with a new protease inhibitor for rescue may improve response.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080561100007
View details for PubMedID 10228055