STD Home > Understanding How Nevirapine Works and What to Tell Your Doctor
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking nevirapine if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
How Does Nevirapine Work?
Nevirapine is part of 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.
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 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 protein building blocks.
Nevirapine works by attaching to the reverse transcriptase enzyme, stopping it from making DNA. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Nevirapine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. It can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.