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.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors

NNRTIs, drugs used to treat HIV infections in combination with other drugs. Examples are efavirens (Sustiva) and nevirapine (Viramune).
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The other type of reverse transcriptase inhibitor is the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI).
This was primarily accounted for by mutations conferring resistance to the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (J.
I believe in making it a friend, for example trying to induce hypersensitivity to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) by capitalizing on the maintenance of resistance to nucleoside agents.
Nevirapine (Viramune) is a member of a family of anti-HIV drugs known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).
Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors Generic Name Initials Trade Name Manufacturer Delavirdine DLV Rescriptor Pharmacia & Upjohn Nevirapine Viramune Boehringer-Ingelheim Table 3.
Intrapartum and neonatal single-dose nevirapine are commonly used and essential in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in resource-poor settings, but may induce resistance to other non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
(Efavirenz and nevirapine are in the same drug class, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors; indinavir (Crixivan) is a protease inhibitor.
The drugs are grouped according to class: nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) and protease inhibitors.
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).
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.
Patients in the PRT arm received significantly more active drugs and fewer non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).
Efavirenz is the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor of choice with rifampicin.

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