, Volume 63, Issue 7-8, pp 832-842
Date: 23 Feb 2006

The metabolism, pharmacokinetics and mechanisms of antiviral activity of ribavirin against hepatitis C virus

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Abstract.

Ribavirin, a broad spectrum antiviral agent, in conjunction with interferon forms the current standard of treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in humans. While ribavirin alone fails to induce a significant antiviral response, in combination with interferon, ribavirin dramatically improves the long-term outcome of therapy. The predominant mechanism(s) of ribavirin action against HCV, are yet to be established. In this review, we examine the current status of our understanding of the metabolism, pharmacokinetics and mechanisms of the antiviral activity of ribavirin against HCV, all of which are central to the rational identification of improved treatment protocols.