What is Invirase?
Saquinavir is an antiretroviral drug used in HIV therapy. It falls in the protease inhibitor class. Two formulations have been marketed:
- a hard-gel capsule formulation of the mesylate, with trade name Invirase, which requires combination with ritonavir to increase the saquinavir bioavailability;
- a soft-gel capsule formulation of saquinavir (microemulsion, orally-administered formulation), with trade name Fortovase, which was discontinued worldwide in 2006.
Saquinavir is used as a component of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.