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Famciclovir

Mode of action

Same as acyclovir. It has lower affinity for the viral DNA polymerase than acyclovir triphosphate, but it achieves higher intracellular concentrations and has a more prolonged intracellular effect than acyclovir.

Pharmacokinetics

After oral administration, famciclovir is rapidly converted by first-pass metabolism to penciclovir. The bioavailability of penciclovir from orally administered famciclovir is 70%. The drug has an intracellular half-life of 10 hours in HSV-1-infected cells, 20 hours in HSV-2-infected cells, and 7 hours in VZV-infected cells in vitro. Penciclovir is excreted primarily in the urine.
Famciclovir is FDA approved for treatment of herpes zoster infection at doses of 500 mg three times a day for 7 days. The therapy of ocular HSV, VZV has been adopted from genital HSV data. For acute first episodes, it is 250 mg three times a day for 7-10 days. For recurrent episodes, 125 mg twice a day for 5 days is recommended.

Anti-viral profile

Oral famciclovir is active in vitro against HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, EBV, and HBV. The drug is effectively used for the treatment of first and recurrent attacks of herpes and for the treatment of acute zoster.

Adverse effects

Oral famciclovir is usually well tolerated, although headache, diarrhoea, and nausea may occur.

Resistance

Clinical mutants of HSV, due to altered or deficient thymidine kinase, are cross-resistant to acyclovir and famciclovir.

Statutory Warning

Materials / Informations provided here are for educational purpose only ; and not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment