GENERIC NAME: delavirdine
BRAND NAME: Rescriptor
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Delavirdine is an oral medication that is used for the treatment of infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is similar to efavirenz (Sustiva) and nevirapine (Viramune). Delavirdine is in a class of drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors which also includes zalcitabine (Hivid), zidovudine (Retrovir), didanosine (Videx), and lamivudine (Epivir). During infection with HIV, the HIV virus multiplies within the body's cells. The newly-formed viruses then are released from the cells and spread throughout the body where they infect other cells. In this manner, the infection spreads to new, uninfected cells that the body is continually producing, and HIV infection is perpetuated. When producing new virus, the HIV virus must manufacture new DNA for each virus. Reverse transcriptase is the enzyme that the virus uses to form this new DNA. Delavirdine directly inhibits the activity of reverse transcriptase and blocks the production of DNA and new virus. Delavirdine does not kill existing HIV virus, and it is not a cure for HIV. Delavirdine was approved by the FDA in April 1997.
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