Prophylactic Antivirals: Uses and Risks

Prophylactic antivirals are medications taken to prevent viral infections, such as influenza, in individuals at high risk of exposure or complications.
Where to get
Available with a doctor's prescription at pharmacies.
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Prophylactic Antivirals FAQ

Can prophylactic treatment prevent viral infection?

Using a stochastic model of early phase infection, we evaluate the success of prophylactic treatment with different drug types to prevent viral infection. We find that there exists a critical efficacy that a treatment must reach in order to block viral establishment.

Is prophylactic antiviral therapy feasible?

Prophylactic antiviral therapy could be feasible, efficient, and alleviate the burden on healthcare systems. The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spread around the globe in early 2020 [ 1 – 4 ]. As of January 12 th 2021, more than 91 million cases and 1.9 million associated deaths have been detected worldwide [ 5 ].

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.

How do antivirals work?

Antiviral medications help the body fight off harmful viruses. The drugs can ease symptoms and shorten the length of a viral infection. Antivirals also lower the risk of getting or spreading viruses that cause herpes and HIV. One approved antiviral treats the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. What are antivirals?

Prophylactic Antivirals References

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