Merck Manual

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Some Antiviral Drugs for Herpesvirus Infections

Some Antiviral Drugs for Herpesvirus Infections

Drug

Common Uses

Some Side Effects

Acyclovir

Herpes zoster (shingles)

Few serious side effects

Rarely, kidney damage

Cidofovir

Cytomegalovirus infections, including retinitis (infection of the retina of the eye)

Kidney damage

Famciclovir

Herpes zoster (shingles)

Few serious side effects

Foscarnet

Kidney damage

Ganciclovir

Cytomegalovirus infections, including retinitis

Low white blood cell count

Penciclovir (cream)

Few side effects

Redness at site of application

Trifluridine (eye drops)

Herpes simplex keratitis (infection of the cornea)

Stinging of the eyes

Swelling of the eyelids

Valacyclovir

Herpes zoster (shingles)

Few serious side effects (similar to acyclovir)

Valganciclovir

Similar to ganciclovir (that is, a low white blood cell count)

Vidarabine (as ointment applied to the eyes)

Irritation of the eyes

Sensitivity to light