Antiviral drugs are a class of medication used specifically for treating viral infections. Like antibiotics for bacteria, specific antivirals are used for specific viruses.
What is an Anti-Viral Drug?
- Antiviral drugs are one class of antimicrobials, a larger group which also includes antibiotic (also termed antibacterial), antifungal and antiparasitic drugs. They are relatively harmless to the host, and therefore can be used to treat infections. They should be distinguished from viricides, which are not medication but deactivate or destroy virus particles, either inside or outside the body.
Are there any side-effects from antiviral medicines?
- Most people who take antiviral medication get no side-effects, or only minor ones. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain, as well as skin rashes (including photosensitivity and itching) are the most common side-effects.
- Read the leaflet inside the medication packet for a full list of possible side-effects.