Antiviral Drugs

Antiviral drugs are medication used specifically for treating viral infections. Like antibiotics for bacteria, specific antivirals are used for specific viruses. Unlike most antibiotics, antiviral drugs do not destroy their target pathogen; instead they inhibit their development.Antiviral drugs are one type of antimicrobials, a larger group which also includes antibiotic (also termed antibacterial), antifungal and antiparasitic drugs. They are relatively harmless to the host, and therefore can be used to treat infections. They should be distinguished from viricides, which are not medication but deactivate or destroy virus particles, either inside or outside the body. Antivirals also can be found in essential oils of some herbs, such as eucalyptus oil and its constituents.Most of the antiviral drugs now available are designed to help deal with HIV, herpes viruses, the hepatitis B and C viruses, which can cause liver cancer, and influenza A and B viruses.

The general idea behind modern antiviral drug design is to identify viral proteins, or parts of proteins, that can be disabled. These "targets" should generally be as unlike any proteins or parts of proteins in humans as possible, to reduce the likelihood of side effects. The targets should also be common across many strains of a virus, or even among different species of virus in the same family, so a single drug will have broad effectiveness. Almost all anti-microbials, including anti-virals, are subject to drug resistance as the pathogens mutate over time.

  • Preventive Health and Pharmaceutical Drug
  • Structural virology
  • Herpesviruses and poxviruses
  • RNA viruses
  • Hepatitis C
  • Ebola and Marburg virus
  • Classification of Antiviral Drugs
  • Viral diseases of animals
  • Norovirus & Emerging Viruses

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