Antiviral drugs interfere with the replication of viruses. Commonly used antiviral drugs follow.
Amantadine prevents a virus from entering the cell or from uncoating once the virus enters the cell. It is used (though it has limited usefulness) to prevent influenza A, but has no practical effect once the virus infects the cell.
Nucleoside analog antiviral drugs affect the synthesis of viral DNA or RNA. Commonly used nucleoside analogs are:
• Acyclovir is used to combat viruses that cause herpes.
• Ribavirin is used to treat rotavirus-caused pneumonia in infants.
• Ganciclovir is used fight cytomegalovirus infections that are common in transplant patients and patients who have AIDS.
• Trifluridine is used to treat the eye infection caused by acyclovir-resistant herpes keratitis.
• Zidovudine (AZT) is used in HIV infection. This drug blocks the synthesis of DNA from RNA by the enzyme reverse transcriptase.
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