Antiviral Medications - Mechanism of Action

Antiviral medications are prescription drugs used to treat viral infections by inhibiting the replication of viruses in the body. They are commonly used for conditions like influenza, herpes, and HIV.
Where to get
Available with a prescription from healthcare providers and pharmacies.
Applicable for
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Antiviral Medications FAQ

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What are antiviral drugs?

Antivirals are medications that help your body fight off certain viruses that can cause disease. Antiviral drugs are also preventive. They can protect you from getting viral infections or spreading a virus to others. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission.

When do Antiviral medicines work?

Antiviral medicines work best if taken as soon as possible, and within 5 days from when your symptoms start. If your doctor says you are eligible for antiviral medicines, they will send you a prescription (online or paper copy).

How do you take antiviral drugs?

Most antivirals are oral drugs that you swallow. But you may also receive antiviral medications as: · Eyed rops. · Inhaled powder. · Injection (shot) into a muscle. · IV into a vein. · Topical (skin) ointments or creams. How long do you need to take antiviral drugs? Treatment length varies depending on the antiviral drug and viral infection.

Antiviral Medications References

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