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- What is nevirapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for nevirapine?
- Is nevirapine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for nevirapine?
- What are the side effects of nevirapine?
- What is the dosage for nevirapine?
- Is nevirapine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about nevirapine?
What is nevirapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Nevirapine is an oral medication that is used for the treatment of infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is in a class of drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors that also includes zalcitabine (Hivid), zidovudine (Retrovir), didanosine (Videx), and lamivudine (Epivir). It is in a subclass of protease inhibitors called nonnucleoside protease inhibitors that includes efavirenz (Sustiva) and delavirdine (Rescriptor). 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 viruses, the HIV virus must manufacture new DNA for each virus. Reverse transcriptase is the enzyme that the virus uses to form this new DNA. Nevirapine directly inhibits the activity of reverse transcriptase and blocks the production of DNA and new viruses. Nevirapine does not kill existing HIV virus and it is not a cure for HIV. The FDA approved nevirapine in September 1996.
What brand names are available for nevirapine?
Viramune, Viramune XR
Is nevirapine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for nevirapine?
What are the side effects of nevirapine?
The most common side effects of nevirapine are:
The most serious side effects of nevirapine are:
- liver failure,
- severe skin reactions,
- decreased white blood cells, and
- muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis).
Like other antiretroviral drugs, use of nevirapine is associated with redistribution or accumulation of body fat. Immune reconstitution syndrome which is an inflammatory response to infection may occur in patients treated with combination anti-HIV therapy.
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