STD Channel
Topics & Medications
Quicklinks
Related Channels

More Info on Zalcitabine Indications

How Does Zalcitabine Work?

Zalcitabine is part of a group of medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTI medications work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
 
HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that is responsible for AIDS. Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV is 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 into DNA by using a special protein called the reverse transcriptase enzyme. To create DNA, this enzyme uses several different molecular building blocks.
 
Zalcitabine 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, zalcitabine actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
 
Zalcitabine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Although it can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body, it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.
 

Zalcitabine Use in Children

Zalcitabine is approved for use in adolescents as young as 13 years old (but it is not approved for younger children). Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using zalcitabine in children.
 

Off-Label Zalcitabine Uses

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

Zalcitabine Drug Information

Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.