AIDS Home > Viramune

Viramune is a prescription drug that is licensed for treating HIV and AIDS. It should be used in combination with other HIV medications, as part of an HIV "cocktail." While Viramune is not a cure, it can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body. The medicine comes in tablet and oral suspension form and is usually taken twice daily.

What Is Viramune?

Viramune® (nevirapine) is a prescription medicine used as a treatment for HIV and AIDS. Viramune should not be used by itself; it is approved for use only in combination with other HIV medications.
(Click Viramune Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Viramune?

The medication is made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does It Work?

Viramune 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.
Viramune works by attaching to the reverse transcriptase enzyme, stopping it from making DNA. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Viramune 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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