Author(s): Lin P, Torres G, Tyring SK
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Abstract Almost all of the approved antiviral drugs have become available during the past two decades. Approximately one half of these agents are for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and comprise five classes. The first three classes all act to inhibit reverse transcriptase: nucleoside analogs; nonnucleoside analogs; and nucleotide analogs. The fourth class, protease inhibitors, prevent viral packaging; the fifth class, fusion inhibitors, prevent fusion between HIV and the target cell. Four nucleoside analogs, acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir and penciclovir, are approved for the therapy of herpes simplex and varicella zoster infections. Interferon alpha is approved in the injectable form for condyloma acuminatum and Kaposi's sarcoma, but the more efficient method of delivering this agent is via interferon induction following topical use of imiquimod cream. Antiviral agents are also approved for infections with cytomegalovirus, hepatitis B and C, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza viruses. Most of these antiviral drugs are virastatic and not viracidal. Vaccines and public health measures are much more effective and cost effective than antiviral drugs and must be promoted accordingly in the defense against viral infections.
This article was published in Clin Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy