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Pharmacology of Antiviral Drugs Viruses interfere with many of the metabolic processes of the host cell itself therefore

fore it is difficult to find drugs selective for that pathogen Some enzymes are viral specific- useful drug targets Treatment is usually delayed until the infection is well established as the inital phases of viral infection are a symptomatic This is compensated for by the fact that antiviral agents are usually only effective while the virus is replicating There are many anti-viral drugs that fall into groups with the same mechanism of action and similar side effects. Some of these groups are: Nucleoside analogues e.g. zidovudine, lambivudine- used in the treatment of HIV, inhibit viral reverse transcriptase enzyme preventing replication of the virus Inhibitors of proteases that prevent viral protein processing e.g. saquinavir, also used in HIV treatment Inhibitors of viral DNA polymerase preventing viral replication e.g. acyclovir, used in the treatment of Herpes and Hepatitis C Inhibitors of viral capsule disassembly, stopping the virus from directing the cell to synthesize viral components e.g. amantidine, used to treat Influenza A and B Inhibitors of Neuramides that prevent viral escape from infected cells e.g. oseltamivir influenza A and B .AS MENTIONED IN ARTICLE. ((principle behind: viral neuraminidase is a transmembrane protein coded by the influenza genome. It allows the newly replicated virus to leave the host cell by budding from the cell membrane by severing the bonds linking the particle coat and the sialic acid residues of the host cell)) Immunomodulators that enhance host defences e.g. inteferons ((usually produced byT lymphocytes produced as a response to viral and non viral agents)) induce the production of enzymes that inhibit translation of viral mRNA into viral proteins-halting viral replication e.g. Aids related Kaposi sarcomas and Hepatitis C Immunoglobin and related preparations that contain neutralising antibodies to various viruses and prevent their attachment to host cells. For example Hyperimmune globulin is used against Hepatitis B, varicella zoster and rabies

Some common side effects of anti-viral drugs: GI disturbances e.g. nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea CNS system effects e.g. headache, insomnia and dizziness Muscuoskeletal and dermatological effects e.g. fatigue, myalgia, rash, fever Blood disorders e.g. anaemia Metabolic effects e.g. pancreatitis, liver damage