Ritonavir, also known as Norvir, was developed as an antiretroviral medication, specifically an inhibitor of HIV protease.
It is used along with other medications as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV/AIDS .
At a low dose it is used with other protease inhibitors such as Paxlovid
, targetted at coronaviral protease.
Additionally it has been found that ritonavir reduces the activity of cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver that metabolise certain drugs, allowing these medications to remain at an active concentration for longer
Molecular dynamics analysis of a number of compounds predicted ritonavir has the best potential for blocking the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (hACE2) receptor, which is critical for the virus entry into human cells.