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Indinavir structure.svg
Indinavir ball-and-stick.png
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Trade names Crixivan
AHFS/ monograph
MedlinePlus a696028
Licence data US FDA:link
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
Routes of
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability ~65%
Protein binding 60%
Metabolism Hepatic via CYP3A4
Biological half-life 1.8 ± 0.4 hours
CAS Number 150378-17-9 YesY
ATC code J05AE02
PubChem CID: 5362440
DrugBank DB00224 YesY
ChemSpider 4515036 YesY
KEGG C07051 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:44032 YesY
NIAID ChemDB 005824
PDB ligand ID MK1 (PDBe, RCSB PDB)
Chemical data
Formula C36H47N5O4
Molecular mass 613.79 g/mol
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Indinavir (IDV; trade name Crixivan, manufactured by Merck) is a protease inhibitor used as a component of highly active antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV/AIDS.

HIV-1 protease in complex with indinavir. PDB entry 2avo[1]

It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medications needed in a basic health system.[2]

Medical uses[edit]

Unfortunately, indinavir wears off quickly after dosing, so requires very precise dosing every eight hours to thwart HIV from forming drug-resistant mutations, including resistances to other protease inhibitors. It has restrictions on what sorts of food may be eaten concurrently. For these reasons it is now rarely used.

Side effects[edit]

The most common side effects of indinavir include:[3]

Indinavir inhibits urinary nitrous oxide production and may inhibit nitric oxide production. Treatment with this drug is frequently associated with renal abnormalities, sterile leukocyturia, and reduced creatinine clearance.[5]

Indinavir impairs endothelial function in healthy HIV-negative men and may accelerate atherosclerotic disease.[6]


The Food and Drug Administration approved indinavir on March 13, 1996, making it the eighth approved antiretroviral. Indinavir is much more powerful than any prior antiretroviral drug; using it with dual NRTIs set the standard for treatment of HIV/AIDS and raised the bar on design and introduction of subsequent antiretroviral drugs. Protease inhibitors changed the very nature of the AIDS epidemic from one of a terminal illness to a somewhat manageable one.

Increasingly, it is being replaced by newer drugs that are more convenient to take and less likely to promote virus resistance, such as darunavir or atazanavir.


Indinavir synthesis:[7]


  1. ^ Liu, F.; Boross, P. I.; Wang, Y. F.; Tozser, J.; Louis, J. M.; Harrison, R. W.; Weber, I. T. (2005). "Kinetic, Stability, and Structural Changes in High-resolution Crystal Structures of HIV-1 Protease with Drug-resistant Mutations L24I, I50V, and G73S". Journal of Molecular Biology 354 (4): 789–800. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2005.09.095. PMC 1403828. PMID 16277992. 
  2. ^ "WHO Model List of EssentialMedicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Crixivan® (indinavir sulfate) Capsules. Prescribing Information. Revised December 2013" (PDF). Merck & Co., Inc. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Protease inhibitors' metabolic side effects: cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and "Crix belly"". AIDS Treatment News (277): 1–4. 1997. PMID 11364559. 
  5. ^ M. Eira, M. Araujo and A.C. Seguro. Urinary NO3 excretion and renal failure in indinavir-treated patients. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research (2006) 39: 1065-1070.
  6. ^ Shankar SS, Dubé MP, Gorski JC, Klaunig JE, Steinberg HO. Indinavir impairs endothelial function in healthy HIV-negative men. Am Heart J. 2005 Nov;150(5):933.
  7. ^ Askin, D.; Eng, K. K.; Rossen, K.; Purick, R. M.; Wells, K. M.; Volante, R. P.; Reider, P. J. (1994). "Highly diastereoselective reaction of a chiral, non-racemic amide enolate with (S)-glycidyl tosylate. Synthesis of the orally active HIV-1 protease inhibitor L-735,524". Tetrahedron Letters 35 (5): 673. doi:10.1016/S0040-4039(00)75787-X.