From Drug & Ther Perspect 17(10):1-5, 2001 With permission from Adis International Limited
Nevirapine belongs to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) of HIV. It reduces perinatal HIV transmission when administered as a 2-dose regimen, 1 dose to pregnant women during labour and 1 dose to the new born infant within 72 hours of birth. This nevirapine regimen was more effective than a short course of intrapartum and neonatal zidovudine in a randomised trial in breastfeeding women in Uganda. The 2-dose mother-infant nevirapine regimen is well tolerated and is more cost effective and easier to administer in resource-poor settings than zidovudine. In the US, guidelines for the prevention of perinatal HIV transmission suggest the use of the 2-dose nevirapine regimen as one of the possible treatment options for pregnant women who have received no previous antiretroviral therapy and whose infection is diagnosed late in pregnancy or during labour.
Data concerning the use of nevirapine for the treatment of children with established HIV infection are still limited. It should only be used in combination with at least 2 other antiretroviral agents. In small numbers of patients nevirapine-containing triple antiretroviral combination regimens have produced reductions of HIV RNA both in plasma and the CSF.