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Antivirals for Herpes Virus

Antiviral Antiviral Antivirals for Hepatitis B agents against human herpesviruses (HHVs) include acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles), cidofovir, and foscarnet. Human herpesviruses are DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology in the  Herpesviridae Herpesviridae A family of enveloped, linear, double-stranded DNA viruses infecting a wide variety of animals. Subfamilies, based on biological characteristics, include: alphaherpesvirinae; betaherpesvirinae; and gammaherpesvirinae. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 family. Herpes simplex Herpes Simplex A group of acute infections caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 that is characterized by the development of one or more small fluid-filled vesicles with a raised erythematous base on the skin or mucous membrane. It occurs as a primary infection or recurs due to a reactivation of a latent infection. Congenital TORCH Infections virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology ( HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2), varicella-zoster virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology (VZV), cytomegalovirus Cytomegalovirus CMV is a ubiquitous double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family. CMV infections can be transmitted in bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, semen, and breast milk. The initial infection is usually asymptomatic in the immunocompetent host, or it can present with symptoms of mononucleosis. Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology ( EBV EBV Epstein-barr virus (EBV) is a linear, double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the herpesviridae family. This highly prevalent virus is mostly transmitted through contact with oropharyngeal secretions from an infected individual. The virus can infect epithelial cells and B lymphocytes, where it can undergo lytic replication or latency. Epstein-Barr Virus), and HHV-8 belong to the Herpesviridae Herpesviridae A family of enveloped, linear, double-stranded DNA viruses infecting a wide variety of animals. Subfamilies, based on biological characteristics, include: alphaherpesvirinae; betaherpesvirinae; and gammaherpesvirinae. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 family. Antivirals against the group generally act via inhibition of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase. Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) (the prototypical nucleoside analog) requires viral kinase for phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing to become a triphosphate, which is incorporated in viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure. Cidofovir requires phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing by host cellular kinase, which allows cidofovir to have activity against mutated viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology and become deficient in viral kinase. Foscarnet (a pyrophosphate analog) does not require phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing. Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides is a shared adverse effect in the agents. Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) can also cause obstructive crystalline nephropathy and foscarnet carries a risk of electrolyte abnormalities and seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures. The nephrotoxic effect of cidofovir can be reduced with IV saline and probenecid Probenecid The prototypical uricosuric agent. It inhibits the renal excretion of organic anions and reduces tubular reabsorption of urate. Probenecid has also been used to treat patients with renal impairment, and, because it reduces the renal tubular excretion of other drugs, has been used as an adjunct to antibacterial therapy. Gout Drugs.

Last updated: 6 May, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Human herpesviruses (HHVs)

  • DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology (a similar infection process):
    • Viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology enter the nucleus Nucleus Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (cell nucleolus). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. The Cell: Organelles of the host cell.
    • Viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure is transcribed into mRNA mRNA RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3′ end, referred to as the poly(a) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm. RNA Types and Structure via host-cell polymerase.
    • Subsequently, the mRNA mRNA RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3′ end, referred to as the poly(a) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm. RNA Types and Structure is translated into virus-specific proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis
  • Herpesviridae Herpesviridae A family of enveloped, linear, double-stranded DNA viruses infecting a wide variety of animals. Subfamilies, based on biological characteristics, include: alphaherpesvirinae; betaherpesvirinae; and gammaherpesvirinae. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 family:
    • Subfamily: Alphaherpesvirinae:
      • Herpes simplex Herpes Simplex A group of acute infections caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 that is characterized by the development of one or more small fluid-filled vesicles with a raised erythematous base on the skin or mucous membrane. It occurs as a primary infection or recurs due to a reactivation of a latent infection. Congenital TORCH Infections virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology ( HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2)-1 and HSV-2 (mucocutaneous and genital lesions)
      • Varicella-zoster virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology (VZV) ( chickenpox Chickenpox A highly contagious infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It usually affects children, is spread by direct contact or respiratory route via droplet nuclei, and is characterized by the appearance on the skin and mucous membranes of successive crops of typical pruritic vesicular lesions that are easily broken and become scabbed. Chickenpox is relatively benign in children, but may be complicated by pneumonia and encephalitis in adults. Varicella-Zoster Virus/Chickenpox)
    • Subfamily: Betaherpesvirinae Betaherpesvirinae A subfamily of herpesviridae characterized by a relatively long replication cycle. Genera include: cytomegalovirus; muromegalovirus; and roseolovirus. Cytomegalovirus:
      • Cytomegalovirus Cytomegalovirus CMV is a ubiquitous double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family. CMV infections can be transmitted in bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, semen, and breast milk. The initial infection is usually asymptomatic in the immunocompetent host, or it can present with symptoms of mononucleosis. Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
      • HHV-6 HHV-6 Human herpesvirus (HHV)-6 and HHV-7 are similar double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the Herpesviridae family. Human herpesviruses are ubiquitous and infections are commonly contracted during childhood. Human Herpesvirus 6 and 7 and HHV-7 HHV-7 Human herpesvirus (HHV)-6 and HHV-7 are similar double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the Herpesviridae family. Human herpesviruses are ubiquitous and infections are commonly contracted during childhood. Human Herpesvirus 6 and 7 (roseola)
    • Subfamily: Gammaherpesvirinae Gammaherpesvirinae A subfamily of herpesviridae characterized by variable reproductive cycles. The genera include: lymphocryptovirus and rhadinovirus. Epstein-Barr Virus:
      • Epstein-Barr virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology ( EBV EBV Epstein-barr virus (EBV) is a linear, double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the herpesviridae family. This highly prevalent virus is mostly transmitted through contact with oropharyngeal secretions from an infected individual. The virus can infect epithelial cells and B lymphocytes, where it can undergo lytic replication or latency. Epstein-Barr Virus) (Burkitt lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum and infectious Infectious Febrile Infant mononucleosis Mononucleosis Infectious mononucleosis (IM), also known as “the kissing disease,” is a highly contagious viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Its common name is derived from its main method of transmission: the spread of infected saliva via kissing. Clinical manifestations of IM include fever, tonsillar pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy. Mononucleosis)
      • HHV-4
      • HHV-8 ( Kaposi sarcoma Kaposi sarcoma A multicentric, malignant neoplastic vascular proliferation characterized by the development of bluish-red cutaneous nodules, usually on the lower extremities, most often on the toes or feet, and slowly increasing in size and number and spreading to more proximal areas. The tumors have endothelium-lined channels and vascular spaces admixed with variably sized aggregates of spindle-shaped cells, and often remain confined to the skin and subcutaneous tissue, but widespread visceral involvement may occur. Hhv-8 is the suspected cause. There is also a high incidence in AIDS patients. AIDS-defining Conditions)

Antiherpes agents

  • Target viral nucleic acid synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) by inhibiting DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase
  • Groups of drugs:
    • Nucleoside analogs:
      • Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
      • Valacyclovir Valacyclovir A prodrug of acyclovir that is used in the treatment of herpes zoster and herpes simplex virus infection of the skin and mucous membranes, including genital herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
      • Famciclovir
      • Ganciclovir
      • Penciclovir
    • Cytidine nucleotide analog: cidofovir
    • Pyrophosphate analog: foscarnet
Antivirals for herpesviruses

Antiviral Antiviral Antivirals for Hepatitis B drug mechanism:
Antivirals for herpesviruses (right side) generally inhibit nucleic acid synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

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Nucleoside Analogs

Chemical structure

  • Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles): an acyclic guanosine nucleoside analog (the prototypical drug of the group)
  • ​​ Valacyclovir Valacyclovir A prodrug of acyclovir that is used in the treatment of herpes zoster and herpes simplex virus infection of the skin and mucous membranes, including genital herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles): the L-valyl ester prodrug Prodrug Nitroimidazoles of acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
  • Penciclovir, famciclovir, and ganciclovir are related agents.

Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles):

  • Sequential Sequential Computed Tomography (CT) phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing of viral kinase (e.g., dependent on thymidine kinase (TK)) and host kinase convert the drug to a monophosphate and then to a triphosphate moiety.
  • Since the initial step requires viral kinase, only infected cells are affected.
  • The steps allow the drug to become triphosphate inhibitors of DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase.
  • Inhibits viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR):
    • The triphosphate competes with deoxyguanosine triphosphate (dGTP) for viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase.
    • The triphosphate incorporates into the viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure
    • Chain termination occurs due to the lack of a 3’-hydroxyl group and prevents attachment Attachment The binding of virus particles to virus receptors on the host cell surface, facilitating virus entry into the cell. Virology of nucleosides Nucleosides Purine or pyrimidine bases attached to a ribose or deoxyribose. Nucleic Acids
  • Mechanism of resistance Resistance Physiologically, the opposition to flow of air caused by the forces of friction. As a part of pulmonary function testing, it is the ratio of driving pressure to the rate of air flow. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing
    • Change in viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase 
    • Absence or impairment of TK (caused by viral mutations)
Pharmacodynamics

Mechanism of action of acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles):
1) Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) undergoes sequential Sequential Computed Tomography (CT) phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing, which is facilitated by herpesvirus thymidine kinase (TK) and host kinases Kinases Macrolides and Ketolides. Since viral TK is required for phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing of acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles), only cells infected with the virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology are affected by the drug.
2) Host enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes convert the monophosphate to acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) triphosphate, which subsequently competes with deoxyguanosine triphosphate (dGTP) for the viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase.
3) Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) is added to the growing strand during viral replication instead of guanosine triphosphate (GTP), which stops viral replication by halting the elongation Elongation Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) of the DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure molecule.

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Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Indications

Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) (and other related agents): 

  • HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2
  • VZV
  • Prevention of herpes viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology in immunocompromised immunocompromised A human or animal whose immunologic mechanism is deficient because of an immunodeficiency disorder or other disease or as the result of the administration of immunosuppressive drugs or radiation. Gastroenteritis individuals 
  • Off-label: Bell palsy Palsy paralysis of an area of the body, thus incapable of voluntary movement Cranial Nerve Palsies and CMV prevention in individuals with low-risk hematopoietic stem cell transplant

Adverse events and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles):

  • Notable adverse events:
    • Acute kidney injury Acute Kidney Injury Acute kidney injury refers to sudden and often reversible loss of renal function, which develops over days or weeks. Azotemia refers to elevated levels of nitrogen-containing substances in the blood that accompany AKI, which include BUN and creatinine. Acute Kidney Injury:
      • Obstructive uropathy (formation of acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) crystals)
      • Interstitial nephritis
      • Renal tubular acidosis Acidosis A pathologic condition of acid accumulation or depletion of base in the body. The two main types are respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis, due to metabolic acid build up. Respiratory Acidosis
    • Neurotoxicity:
      • Confusion, agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus, and hallucination Hallucination Subjectively experienced sensations in the absence of an appropriate stimulus, but which are regarded by the individual as real. They may be of organic origin or associated with mental disorders. Schizophrenia
      • Myoclonus Myoclonus Involuntary shock-like contractions, irregular in rhythm and amplitude, followed by relaxation, of a muscle or a group of muscles. This condition may be a feature of some central nervous system diseases; (e.g., epilepsy-myoclonic). Nocturnal myoclonus is the principal feature of the nocturnal myoclonus syndrome. Neurological Examination and tremor Tremor Cyclical movement of a body part that can represent either a physiologic process or a manifestation of disease. Intention or action tremor, a common manifestation of cerebellar diseases, is aggravated by movement. In contrast, resting tremor is maximal when there is no attempt at voluntary movement, and occurs as a relatively frequent manifestation of parkinson disease. Myotonic Dystrophies
    • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening condition due to either a congenital or an acquired deficiency of ADAMTS-13, a metalloproteinase that cleaves multimers of von Willebrand factor (VWF). The large multimers then aggregate excessive platelets resulting in microvascular thrombosis and an increase in consumption of platelets. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura ( TTP TTP Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening condition due to either a congenital or an acquired deficiency of adamts-13, a metalloproteinase that cleaves multimers of von Willebrand factor (vWF). The large multimers then aggregate excessive platelets resulting in microvascular thrombosis and an increase in consumption of platelets. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) and hemolytic uremic syndrome Hemolytic uremic syndrome A syndrome that is associated with microvascular diseases of the kidney, such as renal cortical necrosis. It is characterized by hemolytic anemia; thrombocytopenia; and acute renal failure. Hypocoagulable Conditions ( HUS HUS Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a clinical phenomenon most commonly seen in children that consists of a classic triad of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and acute kidney injury. Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a major cause of acute kidney injury in children and is most commonly associated with a prodrome of diarrheal illness caused by shiga-like toxin-producing bacteria. Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome)
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation: hypersensitivity to acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Comparison of nucleoside analogs

Table: Comparison of nucleoside analogs against herpesviruses
Agent Characteristics and mechanism of action Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics Approved indication Adverse drug effects
Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
  • Nucleoside analog
  • Polymerase inhibitor
Poor oral bioavailability Bioavailability Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Herpes simplex Herpes Simplex A group of acute infections caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 that is characterized by the development of one or more small fluid-filled vesicles with a raised erythematous base on the skin or mucous membrane. It occurs as a primary infection or recurs due to a reactivation of a latent infection. Congenital TORCH Infections virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology ( HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2)-1
  • HSV-2
  • Varicella zoster virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology (VZV)
  • Acute renal injury
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy
Valacyclovir Valacyclovir A prodrug of acyclovir that is used in the treatment of herpes zoster and herpes simplex virus infection of the skin and mucous membranes, including genital herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) Good oral bioavailability Bioavailability Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
Penciclovir
  • Nucleoside analog
  • Polymerase inhibitor with a 3’-hydroxyl group (not an obligate chain terminator)
Topical HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 ( herpes labialis Herpes labialis Herpes simplex, caused by type 1 virus, primarily spread by oral secretions and usually occurring as a concomitant of fever. It may also develop in the absence of fever or prior illness. It commonly involves the facial region, especially the lips and the nares. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2) Mild side effects
Famciclovir Better oral bioavailability Bioavailability Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics than penciclovir
  • HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2
  • Shingles Shingles Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a linear, double-stranded DNA virus in the Herpesviridae family. Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is more common in adults and occurs due to the reactivation of VZV. Varicella-Zoster Virus/Chickenpox
  • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
  • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
Ganciclovir
  • Nucleoside analog
  • Phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing catalyzed by the virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology protein kinase Protein kinase A family of enzymes that catalyze the conversion of ATP and a protein to adp and a phosphoprotein. Interferons phosphotransferase UL97
  • Polymerase inhibitor
Cytomegalovirus Cytomegalovirus CMV is a ubiquitous double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family. CMV infections can be transmitted in bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, semen, and breast milk. The initial infection is usually asymptomatic in the immunocompetent host, or it can present with symptoms of mononucleosis. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Hematological toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation (↓ platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, leukopenia)
  • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
  • In animal studies, associated with birth defects, ↓ spermatogenesis Spermatogenesis The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through spermatogonia; spermatocytes; spermatids; to the mature haploid spermatozoa. Gametogenesis, and carcinogenesis Carcinogenesis The origin, production or development of cancer through genotypic and phenotypic changes which upset the normal balance between cell proliferation and cell death. Carcinogenesis generally requires a constellation of steps, which may occur quickly or over a period of many years. Carcinogenesis
Valganciclovir
  • Nucleoside analog
  • Phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing catalyzed by the virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology protein kinase Protein kinase A family of enzymes that catalyze the conversion of ATP and a protein to adp and a phosphoprotein. Interferons phosphotransferase UL97
  • Prodrug Prodrug Nitroimidazoles of ganciclovir
  • Polymerase inhibitor
Better oral bioavailability Bioavailability Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics than ganciclovir

Cidofovir

Chemical structure

Cidofovir is a cytidine nucleotide analog.

Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Targets viral replication by inhibiting viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase: 
    • Unlike nucleoside analogs, cidofovir is phosphorylated by cellular (host kinase), not viral, enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes.
    • Competes with deoxycytidine triphosphate (dCTP) for incorporation into viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure by viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase.
    • Disruption of further chain elongation Elongation Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) occurs when the drug is incorporated.
  • Cidofovir has activity against TK-deficient or TK-altered viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology because viral enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes are not required.
  • Mechanism of resistance Resistance Physiologically, the opposition to flow of air caused by the forces of friction. As a part of pulmonary function testing, it is the ratio of driving pressure to the rate of air flow. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing: mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations in viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
  • Distribution:
    • Poor CSF penetration Penetration X-rays
    • The active metabolite (cidofovir diphosphate) is slowly eliminated → long intracellular half-life Half-Life The time it takes for a substance (drug, radioactive nuclide, or other) to lose half of its pharmacologic, physiologic, or radiologic activity. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Metabolism: Most of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat.
  • Excretion:
    • Renal 
    • Glomerular filtration Glomerular filtration The kidneys are primarily in charge of the maintenance of water and solute homeostasis through the processes of filtration, reabsorption, secretion, and excretion. Glomerular filtration is the process of converting the systemic blood supply into a filtrate, which will ultimately become the urine. Glomerular Filtration and tubular secretion Secretion Coagulation Studies

Indications

  • CMV retinitis CMV retinitis Infection of the retina by cytomegalovirus characterized by retinal necrosis, hemorrhage, vessel sheathing, and retinal edema. Cytomegalovirus retinitis is a major opportunistic infection in AIDS patients and can cause blindness. Retinal Detachment (in AIDS AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS)
  • Activity against:
    • Herpesviruses
    • Adenovirus Adenovirus Adenovirus (member of the family Adenoviridae) is a nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA virus. Adenovirus is transmitted in a variety of ways, and it can have various presentations based on the site of entry. Presentation can include febrile pharyngitis, conjunctivitis, acute respiratory disease, atypical pneumonia, and gastroenteritis. Adenovirus
    • Polyomavirus (BK virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology nephropathy)
    • Papillomavirus (e.g., warts Warts Benign epidermal proliferations or tumors; some are viral in origin. Female Genitourinary Examination, molluscum contagiosum Molluscum contagiosum Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection limited to the epidermis and is common in children below 5 years of age. Lesions appear as grouped, flesh-colored, dome-shaped papules with central umbilication. Molluscum Contagiosum)
    • Poxvirus 
  • Active against mutant viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology resistant to acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) and ganciclovir:
    • TK-negative HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2
    • UL97 phosphotransferase-negative CMV 

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Adverse effects:
    • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
      • Most important adverse effect
      • Decreased when administered with IV saline and probenecid Probenecid The prototypical uricosuric agent. It inhibits the renal excretion of organic anions and reduces tubular reabsorption of urate. Probenecid has also been used to treat patients with renal impairment, and, because it reduces the renal tubular excretion of other drugs, has been used as an adjunct to antibacterial therapy. Gout Drugs (blocks active renal tubular secretion Secretion Coagulation Studies)
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Neutropenia Neutropenia Neutrophils are an important component of the immune system and play a significant role in the eradication of infections. Low numbers of circulating neutrophils, referred to as neutropenia, predispose the body to recurrent infections or sepsis, though patients can also be asymptomatic. Neutropenia
    • Acute iritis Iritis Inflammation of the iris characterized by circumcorneal injection, aqueous flare, keratotic precipitates, and constricted and sluggish pupil along with discoloration of the iris. Leprosy and ocular hypotony
    • In animal studies: hypospermia, carcinogenesis Carcinogenesis The origin, production or development of cancer through genotypic and phenotypic changes which upset the normal balance between cell proliferation and cell death. Carcinogenesis generally requires a constellation of steps, which may occur quickly or over a period of many years. Carcinogenesis, and teratogenesis
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:

Foscarnet

Chemical structure

Foscarnet is a pyrophosphate analog.

Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Inhibits viral nucleic acid synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
    • No intracellular phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing required for antiviral Antiviral Antivirals for Hepatitis B activity
    • Reversibly binds to the pyrophosphate-binding site of viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase (or reverse transcriptase Reverse transcriptase A reverse transcriptase encoded by the pol gene of HIV. It is a heterodimer of 66 kda and 51 kda subunits that are derived from a common precursor protein. The heterodimer also includes an RNAse h activity that plays an essential role the viral replication process. HIV Infection and AIDS)
    • Inhibits cleavage of pyrophosphate from deoxynucleotide triphosphates → stops DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure chain elongation Elongation Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) 
  • Mechanism of resistance Resistance Physiologically, the opposition to flow of air caused by the forces of friction. As a part of pulmonary function testing, it is the ratio of driving pressure to the rate of air flow. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing: point mutations in the viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption
  • Distribution: 
    • Vitreous levels similar to plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products
    • CSF levels approach 66% of plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products.
  • Metabolism: minimally metabolized
  • Excretion:
    • Tubular secretion Secretion Coagulation Studies and glomerular filtration Glomerular filtration The kidneys are primarily in charge of the maintenance of water and solute homeostasis through the processes of filtration, reabsorption, secretion, and excretion. Glomerular filtration is the process of converting the systemic blood supply into a filtrate, which will ultimately become the urine. Glomerular Filtration 
    • Approximately 20% of foscarnet may be taken up in bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types.
    • Decreased excretion in individuals with kidney disease

Indications

  • Ganciclovir-resistant CMV infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease ( AIDS AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS or transplant recipients)
  • Mucocutaneous acyclovir-resistant HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Adverse effects:
    • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides (reduced by IV saline)
    • Hypocalcemia Hypocalcemia Hypocalcemia, a serum calcium < 8.5 mg/dL, can result from various conditions. The causes may include hypoparathyroidism, drugs, disorders leading to vitamin D deficiency, and more. Calcium levels are regulated and affected by different elements such as dietary intake, parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, pH, and albumin. Presentation can range from an asymptomatic (mild deficiency) to a life-threatening condition (acute, significant deficiency). Hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia Hypomagnesemia A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of magnesium in the diet, characterized by anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. Symptoms are paresthesias, muscle cramps, irritability, decreased attention span, and mental confusion, possibly requiring months to appear. Deficiency of body magnesium can exist even when serum values are normal. In addition, magnesium deficiency may be organ-selective, since certain tissues become deficient before others. Electrolytes, and hypokalemia Hypokalemia Hypokalemia is defined as plasma potassium (K+) concentration < 3.5 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain plasma concentration between 3.5-5.2 mEq/L despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hypokalemia can be due to renal losses, GI losses, transcellular shifts, or poor dietary intake. Hypokalemia
    • Ulcer formation in the genitals
    • Neurologic:
      • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
      • Paresthesia
      • Irritability
      • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
      • Hallucinations Hallucinations Subjectively experienced sensations in the absence of an appropriate stimulus, but which are regarded by the individual as real. They may be of organic origin or associated with mental disorders. Schizophrenia
    • QT prolongation
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation: hypersensitivity to foscarnet

Nonsystemic Agents

Docosanol

  • A saturated 22-carbon aliphatic alcohol
  • Inhibits fusion between the host-cell plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products membrane and the HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 envelope Envelope Bilayer lipid membrane acquired by viral particles during viral morphogenesis. Although the lipids of the viral envelope are host derived, various virus-encoded integral membrane proteins, i.e. Viral envelope proteins are incorporated there. Virology → prevents viral entry into cells 
  • Topical docosanol 10% cream:
    • Over the counter
    • Reduces healing time if applied within 12 hours of prodromal symptom onset 

Trifluridine

  • Trifluorothymidine
  • Mechanism of action: 
    • Inhibition of viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (HSV-1, HSV-2, CMV)
    • Undergoes intracellular phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing by host cell enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes → competes with thymidine triphosphate for incorporation by the viral DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure polymerase 
  • 1% solution:
    • Treatment for keratoconjunctivitis Keratoconjunctivitis Simultaneous inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and recurrent epithelial keratitis Keratitis Inflammation of the cornea. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 due to HSV-1 or HSV-2
    • Off-label: topical application for acyclovir-resistant HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease

Comparison of Medications

Table: Comparison of medications
Antiviral Antiviral Antivirals for Hepatitis B agent Mechanism of action Indications Major adverse effects
Acyclovir Acyclovir A guanosine analog that acts as an antimetabolite. Viruses are especially susceptible. Used especially against herpes. Herpes Zoster (Shingles) (nucleoside analog) Polymerase inhibitor requiring phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing by viral kinase
  • HSV-1
  • HSV-2
  • VZV
Acute kidney injury Acute Kidney Injury Acute kidney injury refers to sudden and often reversible loss of renal function, which develops over days or weeks. Azotemia refers to elevated levels of nitrogen-containing substances in the blood that accompany AKI, which include BUN and creatinine. Acute Kidney Injury (obstructive nephropathy)
Cidofovir (nucleotide analog) Polymerase inhibitor requiring phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing by host kinase (not viral kinase) Approved for CMV retinitis CMV retinitis Infection of the retina by cytomegalovirus characterized by retinal necrosis, hemorrhage, vessel sheathing, and retinal edema. Cytomegalovirus retinitis is a major opportunistic infection in AIDS patients and can cause blindness. Retinal Detachment with activity against other viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology* Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides (risk decreased by IV saline and probenecid Probenecid The prototypical uricosuric agent. It inhibits the renal excretion of organic anions and reduces tubular reabsorption of urate. Probenecid has also been used to treat patients with renal impairment, and, because it reduces the renal tubular excretion of other drugs, has been used as an adjunct to antibacterial therapy. Gout Drugs)
Foscarnet (pyrophosphate analog) Polymerase inhibitor not requiring phosphorylation Phosphorylation The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety. Post-translational Protein Processing Resistant CMV and HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2
  • Nephrotoxicity Nephrotoxicity Glycopeptides
  • Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
*Herpesviruses, adenovirus Adenovirus Adenovirus (member of the family Adenoviridae) is a nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA virus. Adenovirus is transmitted in a variety of ways, and it can have various presentations based on the site of entry. Presentation can include febrile pharyngitis, conjunctivitis, acute respiratory disease, atypical pneumonia, and gastroenteritis. Adenovirus, polyomavirus, papillomavirus, poxvirus, TK-negative HSV HSV Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Herpes simplex virus commonly causes recurrent infections involving the skin and mucosal surfaces, including the mouth, lips, eyes, and genitals. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2, UL97 phosphotransferase-negative CMV

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