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More Info on Didanosine Indications

How Does Didanosine Work?

Didanosine is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). NRTI medications work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV is a little different than other viruses because it must first convert its genetic material from RNA to DNA. It is the DNA genes that allow HIV to multiply.
HIV converts its genetic material by using a special protein called the reverse transcriptase enzyme. To create DNA, this enzyme uses several different molecular building blocks.
Didanosine works by tricking reverse transcriptase into thinking it is one of these molecular building blocks. However, it is just different enough that when used to create DNA, didanosine actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Didanosine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Although it can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body, didanosine does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.

Didanosine Use in Children

Didanosine oral solution is approved for use in children, including infants as young as two weeks old. Didanosine capsules are not approved for use in children (as they contain too much didanosine for most children). Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using didanosine in children.

Off-Label Didanosine Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend didanosine for treating something other than HIV and AIDS. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, didanosine is used off-label to prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the HIV virus (such as a healthcare worker who is stuck with a contaminated needle). This is called postexposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Didanosine -- HIV Drug Information

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