Definition of Antiviral Medications

antiviral medicationsAntiviral medications – medications to shorten the course and lessen the severity of illness due to viral infection as well as reduce viral shedding to minimize contagiousness.

Some medications are able to prevent viral infection from developing after exposure to the virus. Antivirals mark a fine line because they must destroy viruses without damaging the cells that host them. Most medications accomplish such a task by substituting inactive molecules for key enzyme molecules in the virus’s efforts to replicate.

Antivirals are the mainstay of therapy for hiv/aids. Doctors also use them to treat viral infections such as chickenpoxherpes simplexherpes zoster (shingles), genital herpesinfluenza, and chronic hepatitis B.

Antiviral medications have numerous and sometimes serious side effects that vary with the medication. It is important for the doctor to know all medications a person takes, including over-thecounter (otc) drugs and herbal remedies, to minimize the risk for adverse reaction and drug interaction.

Common Antivirals

COMMON ANTIVIRAL MEDICATIONS
acycloviradefovir
alpha-interferonamantadine
famciclovirfoscarnet
lamivudineoseltamivir
penciclovirribavirin
rimantadinevalacyclovir
zanamivir

See also PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE AND IMMUNIZATIONVACCINE.

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