What are NNRTI Drugs?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
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Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, or NNRTI, drugs are a specific type of medication that fights viruses. According to scientists, these drugs can be effective in stopping viruses from reproducing. Medical experts refer to them as antiretroviral medications.

Essentially, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors control viruses by inhibiting certain enzymes. The use of NNRTI drugs is an example of the complex ways that changing “inhibitors” can affect many aspects of physical health. Much modern scientific research is going into how to change outcomes using the idea of receptors and inhibitors in DNA structures.

The medications classified as NNRTI drugs are often used as anti-HIV drugs. Many studies have focused on the relative success of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in controlling the spread of HIV in the body. Some scientists are now claiming that these drugs do more to control HIV than earlier versions of similar drugs.

One big challenge with NNRTI drugs and other similar medications is the phenomenon of drug resistance. Over time, physical conditions can adapt to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors by changing the body’s inhibitors. This can lead to a decrease in effective control by the drug agent. Working against drug resistance is critical to the continual formulation of new classes of drugs to fight HIV and other terminal illnesses motivated by viral conditions.


Along with the adoption of NNRTI drugs and other modern medicines, the medical community maintains other methods for controlling and limiting the devastating effects of HIV. Patient education is key, as well as stringent health screening methods to prevent the spread of HIV from one person to another. Where patients are identified as HIV positive, the use of NNRTI drugs represents an integral element of modern treatment, along with monitoring of conditions and other standards of care practiced by modern health facilities.

Although medical professionals tend to regard NNRTI drugs as effective based on elements including potency, less frequent dosing, and low incidence of dangerous side effects, some have identified particular side effects, including organ damage, rashes, and sleep or central nervous system disorders, that have driven what scientists call a rush for “next generation NNRTI drugs.” These future drugs, scientists hope, will also deal with a common threat of viral mutation. As pharma researchers move forward in collaboration with regulatory agencies around the world, new solutions continue to prove themselves for transforming these kinds of medications into more effective virus fighters.


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