Nevirapine binds directly to reverse transcriptase (RT) and blocks the RNA-dependent and DNA-dependent DNA polymerase activities by causing a disruption of the enzyme's catalytic site. The activity of nevirapine does not compete with template or nucleoside triphosphates.
Nevirapine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (nNRTI) with activity against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1). HIV-2 RT and eukaryotic DNA polymerases (such as human DNA polymerases alpha, beta, or sigma) are not inhibited by nevirapine. Nevirapine is, in general, only prescribed after the immune system has declined and infections have become evident. It is always taken with at least one other HIV medication such as Retrovir or Videx. The virus can develop resistance to nevirapine if the drug is taken alone, although even if used properly, nevirapine is effective for only a limited time.
Hepatic. In vivo studies in humans and in vitro studies with human liver microsomes have shown that nevirapine is extensively biotransformed via cytochrome P450 3A4 metabolism to several hydroxylated metabolites.
Symptoms of overdose include edema, erythema nodosum, fatigue, fever, headache, insomnia, nausea, pulmonaryinfiltrates, rash, vertigo, vomiting, and weight decrease.