non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors

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Related to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors: Protease inhibitors, Entry inhibitors, fusion inhibitors, Integrase inhibitors

Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors



This type of drug interferes with an enzyme that is key to the replication (reproduction) of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The drug is designed to help suppress the growth of HIV, but does not eliminate it.


This medication is used to treat patients with the HIV virus and AIDS in combination with one or more other AIDS drugs. Combining NRTIs with older drugs improves their ability to lower the levels of HIV in the bloodstream, and strengthens the immune system.
HIV becomes rapidly resistant to this class of drugs when they are used alone. However, in combination with older drugs, they can interfere with the virus's ability to become resistant because they attack the virus on several fronts. As the virus tries to evade one drug, another attacks. This combination can lower the level of HIV in the blood to undetectable levels.


Patients should not discontinue this drug even if symptoms improve without consultation with a physician.


Nucleoside analogues, the first class of HIV drugs to be developed, worked by incorporating themselves into the virus's DNA, making the DNA incomplete and therefore unable to create a new virus. Non-nucleoside inhibitors work at the same stage as nucleoside analogues, but act in a completely different way, preventing the conversion of RNA to DNA.
This class of drugs includes nevirapine (Viramune) and delavirdine (Rescriptor). It may take several weeks or months before the full benefits are apparent.
Depending on the drug prescribed, doses may start with a lower amount and be increased after a short period of time.


A mild skinrash iscommon; a severeskin rashcan be a life threatening reaction. Other possible side effects include fever, blistering skin, mouth sores, aching joints, eye inflammation, headache, nausea, and tiredness.
Because the drug passes into breast milk, breastfeeding mothers should avoid the drug, or not nurse until the treatment is completed.



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Key terms

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) — The virus that causes AIDS.

non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors

NNRTIs, drugs used to treat HIV infections in combination with other drugs. Examples are efavirens (Sustiva) and nevirapine (Viramune).
References in periodicals archive ?
This effect was not seen in patients who were not exposed to protease inhibitors and was not associated with exposure to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, although patients were not exposed to this class of drug for as long.
The other type of reverse transcriptase inhibitor is the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI).
Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors Generic Name Initials Trade Name Manufacturer Delavirdine DLV Rescriptor Pharmacia & Upjohn Nevirapine Viramune Boehringer-Ingelheim Table 3.
Investigators have demonstrated that a dual NRTI strategy provides clinical benefit, and it leaves the powerful protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors available for later use, when your T cell count is lower and you need potent therapy.
As an example of the impact of PIs, before PIs the outlook for non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) was dim.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) can cause elevated liver enzymes, a sign of liver stress and potential damage.
Patients in the PRT arm received significantly more active drugs and fewer non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).
Of note, these volunteers were naive to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), and the contribution of efavirenz (Sustiva) to the virologic success of their treatment should not be underestimated.
The study is being conducted in patients who are experienced with multiple protease inhibitors but who have not been treated with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).
The drugs are grouped according to class: nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) and protease inhibitors.

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