Herpesvirus medications


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Herpesvirus medications

Medicine and surgery

Allergy and immunology

Antihistamines for allergies


Cardiology, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery

Coronary artery disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Heart failure: Clinical (To be retired)

Syncope: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypertension: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypercholesterolemia: Clinical (To be retired)

Peripheral vascular disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Leg ulcers: Clinical (To be retired)

Adrenergic antagonists: Alpha blockers

Adrenergic antagonists: Beta blockers

ACE inhibitors, ARBs and direct renin inhibitors

Thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics

Calcium channel blockers

Lipid-lowering medications: Statins

Lipid-lowering medications: Fibrates

Miscellaneous lipid-lowering medications

Antiplatelet medications

Dermatology and plastic surgery

Hypersensitivity skin reactions: Clinical (To be retired)

Eczematous rashes: Clinical (To be retired)

Papulosquamous skin disorders: Clinical (To be retired)

Alopecia: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypopigmentation skin disorders: Clinical (To be retired)

Benign hyperpigmented skin lesions: Clinical (To be retired)

Skin cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Endocrinology and ENT (Otolaryngology)

Diabetes mellitus: Clinical (To be retired)

Hyperthyroidism: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypothyroidism and thyroiditis: Clinical (To be retired)

Dizziness and vertigo: Clinical (To be retired)

Hyperthyroidism medications

Hypothyroidism medications


Hypoglycemics: Insulin secretagogues

Miscellaneous hypoglycemics

Gastroenterology and general surgery

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Clinical (To be retired)

Peptic ulcers and stomach cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Diarrhea: Clinical (To be retired)

Malabsorption: Clinical (To be retired)

Colorectal cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Diverticular disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Anal conditions: Clinical (To be retired)

Cirrhosis: Clinical (To be retired)

Breast cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Laxatives and cathartics


Acid reducing medications

Hematology and oncology

Anemia: Clinical (To be retired)

Anticoagulants: Warfarin

Anticoagulants: Direct factor inhibitors

Antiplatelet medications

Infectious diseases

Pneumonia: Clinical (To be retired)

Urinary tract infections: Clinical (To be retired)

Skin and soft tissue infections: Clinical (To be retired)

Protein synthesis inhibitors: Aminoglycosides

Antimetabolites: Sulfonamides and trimethoprim

Miscellaneous cell wall synthesis inhibitors

Protein synthesis inhibitors: Tetracyclines

Cell wall synthesis inhibitors: Penicillins

Miscellaneous protein synthesis inhibitors

Cell wall synthesis inhibitors: Cephalosporins

DNA synthesis inhibitors: Metronidazole

DNA synthesis inhibitors: Fluoroquinolones

Herpesvirus medications



Miscellaneous antifungal medications

Anti-mite and louse medications

Nephrology and urology

Chronic kidney disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Kidney stones: Clinical (To be retired)

Urinary incontinence: Pathology review

ACE inhibitors, ARBs and direct renin inhibitors

PDE5 inhibitors

Adrenergic antagonists: Alpha blockers

Neurology and neurosurgery

Stroke: Clinical (To be retired)

Lower back pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Headaches: Clinical (To be retired)

Migraine medications

Pulmonology and thoracic surgery

Asthma: Clinical (To be retired)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Clinical (To be retired)

Lung cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Antihistamines for allergies

Bronchodilators: Beta 2-agonists and muscarinic antagonists

Bronchodilators: Leukotriene antagonists and methylxanthines

Pulmonary corticosteroids and mast cell inhibitors

Rheumatology and orthopedic surgery

Joint pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Rheumatoid arthritis: Clinical (To be retired)

Lower back pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Anatomy clinical correlates: Clavicle and shoulder

Anatomy clinical correlates: Arm, elbow and forearm

Anatomy clinical correlates: Wrist and hand

Anatomy clinical correlates: Median, ulnar and radial nerves

Anatomy clinical correlates: Bones, joints and muscles of the back

Anatomy clinical correlates: Hip, gluteal region and thigh

Anatomy clinical correlates: Knee

Anatomy clinical correlates: Leg and ankle

Anatomy clinical correlates: Foot

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Opioid agonists, mixed agonist-antagonists and partial agonists

Antigout medications

Non-biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

Osteoporosis medications


Herpesvirus medications


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Herpesvirus medications

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External References

First Aid








Acyclovir p. 198

Immunocompromised patients

acyclovir/famciclovir/valacyclovir p. 198


Content Reviewers

Yifan Xiao, MD


Ursula Florjanczyk, MScBMC

Maria Emfietzoglou, MD

Evan Debevec-McKenney

Tanner Marshall, MS

Anti-herpes medications are a group of antiviral agents that treat herpes infections including herpes simplex virus, or HSV, but they can also treat other viral infections like varicella zoster virus, or VZV, and cytomegalovirus, or CMV.

They act by inhibiting viral DNA synthesis and thus, inhibiting viral proliferation.

Alright, now let’s start with HSV, which infects skin and mucosal epithelial cells.

There are two types of HSV, HSV1 and HSV2.

Generally speaking, HSV1 tends to cause infections “above the waist” mostly involving the lips, or labia, which is referred to as herpes labialis, and the mouth and the gingiva, which is called gingivostomatitis.

In rare cases, HSV1 can spread to the esophagus, causing esophagitis, or to the central nervous system, causing meningitis or encephalitis, typically affecting the temporal lobe.

On the other hand, HSV2 tends to cause infections “below the waist” affecting the genital organs, which is referred to as herpes genitalis.

HSV can also pass from a mother to a baby usually when the baby passes through the infected maternal vaginal secretions and can cause severe neonatal infections.

The typical presentation of a herpes infection is clusters of small, painful, fluid-filled blisters, that ooze and ulcerate. They eventually heal after a few weeks.

However, HSV also infects the nearby sensory neurons, which aren’t destroyed, but instead, they become a permanent home for the herpes virus. This is referred to as the latent phase of the infection and is typically asymptomatic.

From time to time, the herpes virus from the sensory neurons make a few viral copies of itself which can get released and infect the epithelial cells.

Alright, now let’s move on to varicella zoster virus. VZV causes a primary infection called varicella or chickenpox, which is characterized by a rash on the scalp, face, and trunk that contains macules, papules, vesicles, and scabs at the same time.


Herpes medications are antiviral agents used to treat herpes infection. They mainly work by interfering with DNA replication of Herpes simplex viruses. Commonly prescribed herpes medications include acyclovir, cidofovir, foscarnet, and valacyclovir. Side effects include nephrotoxicity, electrolyte imbalances, headaches, hallucinations, and seizures.


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  2. "Rang and Dale's Pharmacology" Elsevier (2019)
  3. "Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2017)
  4. "Mode of action, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of some new antiherpesvirus guanosine analogs related to buciclovir." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (1986)
  5. "Clinical study in genital herpes: natural Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin versus acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir" Drug Design, Development and Therapy (2016)
  6. "Efficacy of brincidofovir as prophylaxis against HSV and VZV in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients" Transplant Infectious Disease (2018)
  7. "Antiviral Drug Resistance of Human Cytomegalovirus" Clinical Microbiology Reviews (2010)

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