STD Home > Understanding How Tipranavir Works and What to Tell Your Doctor
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking tipranavir if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- High cholesterol or high triglycerides
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Aptivus and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Aptivus and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Tipranavir to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Tipranavir belongs to a group of HIV medications known as protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, it must use a person's own cells to reproduce. Once inside an infected cell, the HIV virus uses it to make DNA, which enables the virus 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.
Tipranavir is a protease inhibitor, which means that it 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. Tipranavir 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.
Tipranavir is always used in combination with ritonavir. Ritonavir increases the level of tipranavir in the blood, helping it work better. This is known as "boosting." Ritonavir is used to boost several different HIV medications.