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What are the possible side effects of antiviral drugs?

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Antiviral drugs are used to fight against virus infection in the body. These drugs reduce the risk of spreading virus and cause more damage to the body. Different drugs work differently and it all depends on the type of virus and drug. These drugs are prescribed for curing life-threatening or chronic viral infections such as Ebola, Covid-19, flu, HIV, genital herpes and more. These are mostly available in oral drug form, but you can get them in the form of creams, injections, inhaled power, eyedrops and more. Here in this guide, we will mention about the possible side of these antiviral drugs, check the details below:

Side effects of antiviral drugs

Possible side effects of antiviral drugs:

Each medication is different, so side effects vary for each drug, you may experience following side effects:

· Skin rash

· Nausea and vomiting

· Muscle pain

· Joint pain

· Insomnia

· Headaches

· Fatigue

· Dizziness

· Diarrhoea

· Dry mouth

· cough

Side effects of Antiviral Drugs for Flu:

These drugs are used to reduce the severity and duration of flu and prevent it. This is recommended for both prevention and cure of flu. These are some common drugs including baloxavir marboxil , zanamivir (Relenza) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

Those who use these medications may face some side effects like behavioural changes, diarrhoea, cough, stuffy nose, runny nose, vomiting, nausea and more.

Some adverse effects of oseltamivir include vomiting and nausea. On the other hand, Zanamivir may cause bronchospasm. These are some adverse effects that you must know about.

Side effects of Valacyclovir:

This is also an antiviral drug that helps your body fight against herpes simplex viruses. It is also recommended to treat chickenpox, cold sores and more other conditions. It is available in form of tablet. Its common side effects include pain in stomach, dizziness, vomiting, nausea and headache.

If we talk about some serious side effects of this antiviral drug, then it includes kidney failure with symptoms including swelling in legs, urinating less than usual and severe drowsiness. Some other serious adverse effects may include unusual behaviour and mood, coma, hallucinations, confusion, shaky movements and aggressive behaviour.

How to manage these side effects?

· If you are experiencing fatigue, you should fix 20 minutes naps during work schedule. Try to take balanced diet in order to feel energetic all day long.

· If you are feeling queasy, you should try to avoid things that trigger stomach upset. You should try to stick with small meals. Staying hydrated is also recommended in such situations.

· Diarrhoea is the common side effect of antiviral drug that most people experience. You should drink plenty of fluids in order to be hydrated.

· You should take some rest and stay away from bright light and loud noise in order to manage headache.


Antiviral drugs are commonly used to treat viral infection in body. Though, they are effective in treating and prevention viral infection, but sometimes people have to experience side effects. Some common side effects are headache, dizziness, fatigue and more.

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