AIDS Home > Viramune XR

Viramune XR is used for treating HIV and AIDS. It works by preventing the HIV virus from multiplying. This medication is available by prescription only and comes in the form of an extended-release tablet that is only taken once daily. Although most people tolerate this medication well, side effects can include nausea, headaches, and fatigue.

What Is Viramune XR?

Viramune® XR™ (nevirapine XR) is a prescription medicine used as a treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is a long-acting, extended-release medication that is taken just once a day.
Viramune XR should not be used by itself; it is approved for use only in combination with other HIV medications.
(Click Viramune XR Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Viramune XR is made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Viramune XR Work?

Viramune XR is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). Like other NNRTIs, it works by blocking a process that HIV needs in order to multiply.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, it 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 ribonucleic acid (RNA) to deoxyribonucleic acid (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.
Viramune XR works by attaching to the reverse transcriptase enzyme, stopping it from making DNA. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Keep in mind that Viramune XR 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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