An antiviral by definition is a molecule intended to counter the multiplication of the virus. It is therefore given in viral infections.
There are different types of antivirals, each suitable for a specific virus, although they can be generally classified into three categories depending on their method of action :
- those which inhibit entry of the virus into the cell ;
- those which inhibit the viral genome copying stage (replication) ;
- and those which inhibit the formation of new functional virions or inhibit the virus from leaving the cell.
Tamiflu is one of the best known antivirals. DR Credits