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The influenza virus causes seasonal influenza, commonly called “the flu”, which is one of the most common infectious diseases. There are several antiviral medications that can be used either in the prevention of influenza for high-risk clients, or in the acute treatment of severe cases of influenza.
Alright, so, the most commonly used antivirals for influenza include neuraminidase inhibitors, such as oseltamivir, peramivir, and zanamivir; as well as endonuclease inhibitors like baloxavir marboxil.
Also, there are additional antivirals that are currently not recommended, including adamantanes, such as amantadine and rimantadine. Most of these antivirals are taken orally, except for peramivir, which is given intravenously, and zanamivir, which comes in a powder form that is inhaled by mouth.
Once administered, each class of antiviral act through a different mechanism of action. Neuraminidase inhibitors, as their name implies, bind and inhibit the viral enzyme neuraminidase, thereby preventing the release of new viruses.
Endonuclease inhibitors, on the other hand, inhibit, you guessed it, a viral enzyme called endonuclease, ultimately stopping the transcription of viral RNA. Finally, adamantanes act by inhibiting the viral protein M2, which prevents viruses from replicating inside the host cell. Ultimately, all of these antivirals help stop viral replication and the release of new influenza viruses.
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