- An agent that kills viruses or suppresses their replication and, hence, inhibits their capability to multiply and reproduce. For example, amantadine (BRAND name: SYMMETREL) is a synthetic (man-made) drug that inhibits the multiplication of the influenza A virus and has been used to prevent the flu. Given within 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms it can lessen the severity of the disease, particularly in individuals at high-risk such as those who are immunosuppressed or in a nursing home. Rimantadine (BRAND name: FLUMADINE) is related in structure and anti-influenza A action to amantadine but has fewer side effects.
* * *Opposing a virus; interfering with its replication; weakening or abolishing its action ( e.g., zidovudine, acyclovir).
* * *an·ti·vi·ral -'vi-rəl also an·ti·vi·rus -rəs adj acting, effective, or directed against viruses <\antiviral drugs>antiviral n an antiviral agent and esp. a drug
* * *an·ti·vi·ral (an″te-) (an″ti-viґrəl) 1. destroying viruses or suppressing their replication. 2. an agent that destroys viruses or suppresses their replication.
Medical dictionary. 2011.