Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs) for HIV
These medicines may be available in other combinations to treat HIV infection.
How It Works
Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are antiretroviral medicines. They prevent the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying. When the amount of virus in the blood is kept at a minimum, the immune system has a chance to recover and grow stronger.
Why It Is Used
The use of three or more antiretroviral medicines (highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART) is the usual treatment for HIV infection.
The combination of medicines used for HAART will depend on your health, other conditions you might have (such as hepatitis), and results of testing. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
You may also want to start HIV treatment if your sexual partner does not have HIV. Treatment of your HIV infection can help prevent the spread of HIV to your sexual partner.3
The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends one of the following programs for people who start treatment for HIV:1
How Well It Works
When compared with people who are given single- or double-medicine therapy, people who are given triple-medicine therapy (HAART):
The rate at which antiretrovirals decrease viral loads is affected by:1
Side effects of nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors can include:
In rare cases, nevirapine causes liver damage that can be severe and life-threatening. Regular blood tests may be needed to watch for liver problems.
Etravirine can cause a rare, but severe, skin reaction.
Side effects of any combination medicine can include the side effects of any of the single medicines in the combination.
Side effects usually are not as bad after your body has adjusted to the medicine. Report all side effects to your doctor. He or she may be able to help you reduce side effects by giving you other medicines.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Resistance to single-medicine NNRTI treatment develops quickly. For this reason, they should be used only in combination with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV infection or to prevent or delay the development of resistance.
Things to think about when choosing a combination of medicines include:
Many people think that antiretroviral medicines always have severe side effects. In fact, only a few people experience severe side effects.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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