Common Antiviral Agents
This paper is a review of antiviral drug development in the pharmaceutical industry, including a compilation of current antiviral agents, a summary of major virus targets and a discussion of structure-activity relationships.
THE PHYSICIAN'S DESK REFERENCE lists more than 60 antiviral drugs presented either as oral, parenteral or topical dosage forms, singly or as combinations. Many are based on the theories of the antimetabolite-sulfonamide era (1935 to 1960), others are unique and developed since the outbreaks of herpes and AIDS (1981 to present). None can cure a viral disease, and drug resistance develops in every case. The great majority of these are used for HIV infections with marvelous outcomes in the prolongation of life, especially when used in combinations. Only about 10 are used for the herpes and influenza infections that most physicians see; fewer are available for blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C and the hemorrhagic fatalities. None are useful in other viral diseases of great frequency such as those that attack either the upper respiratory tract (the common cold), the gastrointestinal tract (enteroviruses and noroviruses) or multiple organ sites (adenovirus).
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