Last update July 12, 2023

Saquinavir (SQV)

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Saquinavir is an inhibitor of HIV-1 and HIV-2 protease used in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV infection with advanced immunodeficiency. Oral administration twice a day.

At the date of the last update we did not find any published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Its pharmacokinetic characteristics (moderately elevated molecular weight, high plasma protein binding and large volume of distribution) make it very unlikely its excretion into breast milk in significant amounts.

Its very low oral bioavailability minimizes the passage into plasma of the infant from ingested breast milk, except in the premature and in the immediate neonatal period in which there may be greater intestinal permeability.

One of these antiretroviral treatment (ART) regimens is recommended for nursing mothers diagnosed with acute HIV infection (Panel USA 2022):

  • Bictegravir (BIC) + tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) + emtricitabine (FTC): BiktarvyTM
  • Dolutegravir (DTG) + TAF or tenofovir fumarate (TDF) + emtricitabine (FTC) or lamivudine (3TC)
  • Boosted Darunavir (DRV) + TAF or TDF + FTC or 3TC: SymtuzaTM 

"Individuals with HIV who are on ART with a sustained undetectable viral load and who choose to breastfeed should be supported in this decision". (Panel 2022 p ix)

See below the information of this related product:


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Saquinavir (SQV) is also known as

Saquinavir (SQV) in other languages or writings:

  • ساكينافير (Arabic)
  • Саквинавир ; Саквінавір (Cyrillic)
  • 沙奎那韦 (Chinese)
  • サキナビル (Japanese)
  • N1-{(1S,2R)-1-Benzyl-3-[(3S,4aS,8aS)-3-(tert-butylcarbamoyl)perhydroisoquinolin-2-yl]-2-hydroxypropyl}-N2-(2-quinolylcarbonyl)-l-aspartamide; (S)-N-[(αS)-α-{(1R)-2-[(3S,4aS,8aS)-3-(tert-Butylcarbamoyl)octahydro-2(1H)-isoquinolyl]-1-hydroxyethyl}phenethyl]-2-quinaldamidosuccinamide (Chemical name)
  • C38H50N6O5 (Molecular formula)
  • J05AE01 (ATC Code/s)


Saquinavir (SQV) belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Saquinavir (SQV) in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 4 (1 - 9) %
Molecular weight 671 daltons
Protein Binding 98 %
VD 10 l/Kg
pKa 13.61 -
Tmax 3 hours
7 - 13 hours


  1. Panel on Treatment of HIV During Pregnancy and Prevention of Perinatal Transmission. Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs During Pregnancy and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States. Department of Health and Human Services. 2023 Consulted on June 16, 2023 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. FDA. Saquinavir. Drug Summary. 2012 Full text (in our servers)

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