HIV NTRIs Drug Class

Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NTRIs) are active inhibitors of reverse transcriptase found in retroviruses such as HIV. There are different kinds of nucleoside inhibitors, but they have a similar mode of action. When HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) enters into the body cell, it attempts to infect CD4 cells first in order to inhibit the formation of antibodies. The virus copies its own genetic code into the CD4 cell’s DNA. This way, the cell is then programmed to form new copies of viruses. Since HIV’s genetic material is RNA, it converts its RNA to DNA using reverse transcriptase enzyme to accomplish this task. HIV NTRIs contains faulty version of nucleotides. When HIV’s reverse transcriptase enzyme uses these faulty nucleotides, a faulty DNA is built, which cannot incorporate into the healthy genetic material of the cell; this prevents the cell from producing new virus particles.


Below is a list of drugs in the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor class.


NTRIs were the first drug to be used for the treatment of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection in humans. These drugs combined with other drugs are very powerful and effective for treating HIV. NTRIs are sometimes called nucleoside analogues or nukes.

HIV NTRIs Side Effects

There are different kinds of drugs available under the NTRI class of drugs, and each drug has its own side effects. Some of the most common side effects of NTRI drugs are mentioned below:

  • Hypersensitivity syndrome (fever, nausea, vomiting, myalgia, anorexia)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Chronic renal insufficiency
  • Acute renal insufficiency
  • Asthenia

HIV NTRIs Interactions

NTRIs are not metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes, which minimizes the possibility of their interactions with other drugs being used for treating different medical conditions. However, interactions between NRTIs may reduce their effectiveness.