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More Info on Efavirenz Indications

How Does Efavirenz Work?

Efavirenz belongs to a group of HIV medications known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). These medicines work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
 
Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV is a little different from 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.
 
Efavirenz works by attaching to the reverse transcriptase enzyme, stopping it from making DNA. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply. Efavirenz is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. It can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.
 

Is Efavirenz Used in Children?

Efavirenz is approved for use in children as young as three months old. For young children, the capsules can be opened and the contents mixed with soft food or baby formula (see Efavirenz Dosage for more information). Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children.
 

Is Efavirenz Used for Off-Label Reasons?

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

Efavirenz for HIV/AIDS

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