With the onset of the autumn-winter season, the number of acute respiratory diseases rises sharply. The list of urgent measures to combat one of the first are anti-viral drugs for SARS. How to choose a medicine and what to expect from it?
What you will find in this article:
Action of antiviral drugs
The most common viruses in the cold season are those that cause influenza, parainfluenza, rhinoviruses, and adenoviruses. The total number of viruses reaches three hundred, and each of them is able to mutate and provoke the development of a serious disease.
Most viral diseases are transmitted through the air: from sick to healthy with coughing, sneezing, viruses that cause illness spread. In addition to the nasopharynx and respiratory tract, eye mucosa and lymphatic tissue often become their habitats (lesions).
Among others, the flu virus is particularly dangerous. Variants of combinations of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase are diverse, because every year more and more new strains appear.
Flu is especially dangerous for young children, elderly people, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, people after serious illnesses and concomitant cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.
The action of antiviral drugs is based on neutralizing viruses and their metabolic products, removing them from the body, alleviating the symptoms and accelerating the onset of recovery.
Symptoms of viral infection
Symptoms for colds and flu are similar, only the severity of the course of the disease and the likelihood of complications differ:
- The body temperature rises, sometimes to very high numbers, in a short period of time;
- There is pain and aching muscles and bones;
- Often there is no rhinitis, but a strong cough begins.
As a result of the flowing disease, internal organs can be affected: lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, vessels, as well as the musculoskeletal system.
Depending on the method of exposure to the virus and chemical composition, antiviral drugs are divided into the following types.
These are drugs of a protein nature, having a similar structure to substances that produce cells in response to a viral attack.
The addition of interferons from the outside makes cells less susceptible to the effects of the aggressor and helps maintain cellular immunity.
The biological activity of the drug is extremely high, but during treatment it must be borne in mind that interferons are effective if their use is started when the first symptoms of the common cold appear, moreover, the number of possible side effects is high.
- The most popular tool is human interferon , produced in sealed ampoules. White powdered drug, which is diluted with warm boiled water and dripped into the nasal passages to prevent the development of viral disease, as well as for preventive purposes. It can be used for inhalations for colds and flu, for eyes with conjunctivitis .
- Grippferon is approved for the treatment of children from infancy, pregnant women and during lactation. The dosage depends on the age and weight, the treatment should be started with the first manifestations or to prevent the disease.
- Candles Viferon , as well as ointment and gel, have not only antiviral, but also immunomodulatory effects.
2. Interferon inducers
They do not supply ready-made protein molecules to cells, but they trigger the mechanisms by which cells produce their own interferon.
- Cycloferon is effective against herpes viruses, influenza, ARVI. It is indicated for the treatment of children older than 4 years as part of complex therapy. During pregnancy, interferon treatment is contraindicated.
- Tiloron and its analogues - amixin, lavomax have antiviral, antimicrobial, antitumor, radioprotective effects. It is indicated for the treatment of adults and children older than seven years.
- Arbidol , under whatever trade name it is not sold, is aimed at combating a viral infection at the initial stage of the disease. The drug is used not only for the treatment of inflammatory processes of the respiratory tract, but also for rotavirus and other intestinal infections.
3. Cyclic amines
Remantadin tablets inhibit the reproduction of the virus in human cells. The drug is effective at the initial stage of the disease against influenza viruses and tick-borne encephalitis.
Analogues of the drug are rimantadine, amizon, rebetol, virgan.
In order for the influenza virus to multiply and infect new cells, it needs to launch the neuraminidase synthesis. Suppression of the process occurs after taking the drug - inhibitor .
Reception is authorized by the doctor, because the drugs have a number of serious side effects, including consciousness disorders, hallucinations, psychosis. This group includes Relenzu (inhalation) and Tamiflu (tablets and powders for suspension).
5. Antiviral drugs with plant-based
- Altabor with alder seed fruit extract, lozenges;
- Immunoflazid and its analogs contain extracts of soddy pike and ground land reed.
6. Immunostimulating drugs
Tsitovir is a solution for therapeutic and prophylactic use, for children a year and older.
7. Antiviral drugs directed action
- Kagocel is an antiviral drug produced in Russia, effective against influenza virus and herpes, upper respiratory tract infection. Stimulates the formation of late interferons in the body, forming an antiviral response. Does not accumulate in the cells, has no toxic effect.
- Acyclovir , which is particularly effective in confronting the herpes virus, is available in the form of tablets (oral) and ointment for external use.
8. Antiviral nasal drops
They contain interferon and are suitable for use in the first three days of the onset of the disease.
9. Homeopathic medicines
- AGRI - a complex drug, which consists of 2 types of tablets.
The first contains the "sulfuric" liver, laconos American and briony.
The second is aconite, toxicodendron and arsenic iodite. The course alternates between different types of pills. AGRI has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antipyretic effects, as well as relieves edema and has anti-allergic effect.
- Engystol is available in the form of a solution and lozenges . In addition to antiviral activity, it promotes detoxification of the body, which facilitates the course of the disease.
- Drops (nasal and for oral administration), aflubins tablets and syrup have antiviral and immunomodulatory effects.
For children, antiviral drugs are available in the form of a syrup to facilitate administration.
Can antibiotics and antivirals be taken at the same time?
Not everyone knows what the difference between antiviral drugs and antibiotics. And those and others are often used without appropriate evidence. The benefit in this case is doubtful, but the harm can be done quite seriously.
- antiviral drugs are designed to combat viral infection;
- antibiotics are needed to stop a bacterial infection.
At the initial stage of virus penetration into the body, it is necessary to take medicines that can stop the virus, prevent its replication and spread. This function is performed by antiviral drugs.
If the treatment is ineffective, the dosage is untimely or incorrectly chosen, a bacterial infection in many cases joins the viral infection.
Against it, you need a “weapon” of another kind - antibiotics. Infection occurs on the fourth or fifth day, it is pointless to begin taking antiviral drugs (if this has not been done before), and it is possible to continue the course started in parallel with antibiotics. The physician prescribing the treatment will evaluate the possibility of combining the selected drugs and will adjust the therapy.
The price of antiviral drugs varies widely; low-cost medicines are usually offered by a domestic manufacturer. It is difficult to buy cheap imported drugs, although subconsciously expensive ones are perceived as more reliable and effective.
Despite numerous accolades, medicine is skeptical of drugs claimed to be antiviral.
The effectiveness of so many of them (in particular, this applies to homeopathic medicines) has not been proven, tests require huge costs, which only pharmaceutical giants can afford.
The cost is included in the price and this is one of the reasons for the high cost of tablets of the promoted brands. In addition, mutations of the virus, for example, influenza, lead to a loss of drug efficacy some time after release, which requires additional work and expansion of the drug line.
Normally, the human body is able to produce interferon to fight viruses and does not need additional replenishment. It is no secret that antiviral therapy is often a placebo that works thanks to self-hypnosis.
Before taking antiviral drugs on your own, you should study the list of contraindications and side effects to evaluate the feasibility of treatment.