font size

Definition of Agent, antiviral

Agent, antiviral: An agent that kills viruses or suppresses their replication and, hence, inhibits their capability to multiply and reproduce.

For example, amantadine (Symmetrel) is a synthetic (man-made) drug that inhibits the multiplication of the influenza A virus and was once used to prevent the flu. Safer medicines such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) can be used to prevent the flu shortly after exposure or to reduce the severity. Flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk health condition or is very sick from the flu. (Neither drug is a substitute for flu shots).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=8147
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations