More Info on Indications for Retrovir

How Does Retrovir Work?

Retrovir works by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply. Like other viruses, HIV must use the host's 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 the virus 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 molecular building-blocks. Retrovir 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, Retrovir actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Retrovir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. It can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.

Retrovir Uses in Children

Retrovir is approved to treat HIV or AIDS in children as young as three months old. It is also approved to be used in newborns of HIV-infected mothers to decrease the chance of transmission.

Off-Label Retrovir Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Retrovir for treating something other than HIV infection and AIDS. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, off-label Retrovir uses include treatment for the following conditions:
  • T-cell lymphoma or leukemia
  • Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets) in people with HIV.
Retrovir is also used in combination with other HIV medications to prevent infection in people who have been exposed to the virus (such as a healthcare worker who comes in contact with a contaminated needle stick). This is called postexposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Retrovir Therapy -- Drug Information

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