Image for Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors

Related Terms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Background

  • Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are a class of antiretroviral drugs that are used to treat HIV patients. NRTIs, developed in 1987, were the first drugs designed to treat HIV. They serve as faulty DNA building blocks and once they are incorporated into the HIV DNA, the DNA chain cannot be completed. Therefore, the drugs prevent HIV from replicating inside a cell. NRTIs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include: Combivir®, Emtriva®, Epivir®, Epzicom®, Hivid®, Retrovir®, Trizivir®, Truvada®, Videx EC®, Videx®, Viread®, Zerit®, and Ziagen®.
  • Since HIV primarily targets the body's CD4 T-cells, which are white blood cells that help coordinate the immune system's response to infection and disease, HIV patients are vulnerable to opportunistic infections (OIs). Antiretrovirals are able to suppress HIV boosting the patient's immune system. They have also shown to dramatically decrease the progression of OIs. These drugs cannot cure HIV infection or AIDS.
  • HIV patients typically receive a combination of antiretroviral drugs because as the virus reproduces different strains emerge and some are resistant to certain drugs. This happens less often when patients adhere to their medication regimens. Therefore, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which is a combination of drugs from at least two different classes, is recommended.
  • Currently, the FDA has approved 28 antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV patients. These drugs fall into four major classes: fusion inhibitors, protein inhibitors, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).
  • Further content available for subscribers only.

Function

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Side Effects and Mitochondrial Toxicity

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Types of Nrtis

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.