HomeDrug ClassesHIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors

HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors (INSTIs) are antiretroviral drugs used for treating HIV infection. They block the viral enzyme integrase, preventing viral replication. INSTIs are prescribed alongside other drugs to form highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Common brands include Isentress, Tivicay, Vitekta, and Biktarvy. Generally safe, mild side effects may include nausea and headache. It is important to adhere to the


HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors (INSTIs) are a class of antiretroviral drugs used in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. These medications work by blocking the action of the viral enzyme integrase, which is responsible for incorporating the virus's genetic material into the DNA of the host cell. By inhibiting this process, INSTIs help prevent the replication and spread of the virus within the body.


INSTIs are primarily used as a component of combination therapy for the treatment of HIV infection. They are recommended for both treatment-naive individuals (those who have not previously received antiretroviral therapy) and treatment-experienced patients (those who have been on antiretroviral therapy before). INSTIs are typically prescribed in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, such as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), to form a highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen. The goal of treatment is to suppress the viral load, improve immune function, and delay the progression of HIV disease.

Common Brands

There are several INSTIs available on the market, each with its own unique brand name. Some of the common brands of HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors include: 1. Raltegravir (brand name: Isentress) 2. Dolutegravir (brand name: Tivicay) 3. Elvitegravir (brand name: Vitekta) 4. Bictegravir (brand name: Biktarvy) These medications may come in different formulations, such as tablets or oral powders, and are often taken once daily. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosing instructions and take the medication regularly for optimal effectiveness.


When used as directed, INSTIs are generally safe and well-tolerated. However, like any medication, they may have potential side effects. Common side effects of HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors may include nausea, headache, insomnia, and fatigue. These side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own, but if they persist or become bothersome, it is important to consult a healthcare provider. It is essential to inform the prescribing healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions or medications being taken, as some drug interactions may occur. Additionally, it is crucial to adhere to the prescribed treatment regimen and not skip doses, as this can lead to the development of drug-resistant strains of the virus. In rare cases, INSTIs may be associated with more severe side effects, such as allergic reactions, liver problems, or changes in kidney function. If any concerning symptoms or unusual reactions occur while taking these medications, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.


HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of HIV infection by effectively suppressing the virus's replication and slowing the progression of the disease. These medications, used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, have significantly improved the quality and length of life for individuals living with HIV. However, it is essential to remember that INSTIs are prescription medications and should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.

List of HIV Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors