NNRTI or Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor is a class of anti-HIV drugs. Varieties of drugs for the HIV infected patients are available in the market that fall under this category of anti-HIV drugs. It is often can be seen that one NNRTI is used in combination with other anti-HIV drugs. Some of the NNRTIs that are available in the market are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for those people who are living with HIV, the rest are unapproved drugs, though are often prescribed by the physicians.
NNRTIs, sometimes referred to as Non-Nucleoside Analogues or Non-nukes for short, prevent healthy T-cells in the body from becoming infected with HIV. When HIV infects a cell in a persons body, it copies its own genetic code into the DNA of the cell. In the similar fashion, the cell is then programmed to create new copies of HIV. This continuous process keeps creating lots of copies of HIV and hence increases the number of the virus. The genetic material of HIV is in the form of RNA. In order to infect the T-cells, it must be converted its RNA to DNA first. Here comes the role of Reverse Transcriptase Enzyme of HIV, which performs this process.
NNRTIs attach themselves to the reverse transcriptase enzyme of the HIV and prevent the enzyme from converting RNA to DNA. As a result, the genetic material of the HIV cannot be incorporated into the healthy genetic material of the cell and hence prevents the cell from producing new virus.
NNRTIs should be taken in combination with other anti-HIV drugs, usually a total number of three drugs. This combination therapy works well and can block the replication of HIV in the blood of the patient. Following are the names of some NNRTIs:
Efavirenz (has trade names Sustiva and Stocrin)
Nevirapind (has trade name Viramune)
Delavirdine (has trade name Rescriptor)
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