Pharmacology: Antiviral Drugs

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1. A 15 y/o patient came in for a severe case of respiratory flu and would need drug therapy. Which of the following drugs should the nurse anticipate to be prescribed?

  1. acyclovir (Zovirax)
  2. amantadine (Symmetrel)
  3. abacavir (Ziagen)
  4. ganciclovir (Cytovene)

2. Which of the following antiviral agents is effective as treatment for H1N1?

  1. zidovudine
  2. acyclovir
  3. oseltamivir
  4. Selzentry

3. A student nurse administering acyclovir was asked by the clinical instructor on how the drug works. The student nurse would be correct by stating that this drug works in which way?

  1. unknown; but it is believed to be shedding the protein coat of the virus.
  2. it competes with viral receptors found in the host cells
  3. it takes away the necessary substances needed by viruses to form DNA chains
  4. trapping the viruses and disintegrating them directly

4. Which of the following prescribed antiviral should the nurse question for a patient with severe hypokalemia?

  1. Foscarnet
  2. Cidofovir
  3. Valganciclovir
  4. Nevirapine

5. Which enzyme is essential for the maturation of infectious viruses?

  1. reverse transcriptase
  2. protease
  3. nucleosidase
  4. CCR5-ase

6. A senior nurse would be correct to advise her colleague to monitor which parameter in patients receiving cyclosporine and zidovudine at the same time?

  1. skin lesion, temperature, and color
  2. flu-like symptoms
  3. level of consciousness
  4. CBC with differential count

7. The only protease inhibitor that is not teratogenic.

  1. darunavir
  2. indinavir
  3. fosamprenavir
  4. saquinavir

8. Anti-hepatitis B agent’s most severe adverse effect is ___________.

  1. bone marrow suppression
  2. steatosis
  3. lactic acidosis
  4. severe skin reactions
Answers and Rationales

1. Answer:  B. amantadine (Symmetrel).

  • It is indicated for respiratory viruses.
  • Options A and D are for herpes viruses and CMV
  • Option C is an NRTI and is indicated for HIV and AIDS.

2. Answer: C. oseltamivir. It is the only antiviral agent effective for H1N1 and avian flu.

  • Option A is the only antiviral agent allowed for use in pregnant women.
  • Option B is the drug of choice for herpes and CMV infections in children.
  • Lastly, option D is a brand name of maraviroc, a CCR5 coreceptor antagonist of HIV virus.

3. Answer: C. it takes away the necessary substances needed by viruses to form DNA chains.

Agents for CMV and herpes viruses are known to compete with the substrates needed by viruses for this process leading to formation of shorter and noneffective DNA chains. Option A is the mechanism of action of agents for influenza and respiratory viruses.

4. Answer: A. Foscarnet.

It can cause seizures in patients with electrolyte disturbances.

5. Answer: B. protease.

This is where the mechanism of action of protease inhibitors is anchored. As a result, viruses are unable to fuse and inject into a cell.

6. Answer: C. level of consciousness.

Severe drowsiness and lethargy can occur in patients taking these drugs at the same time.

7. Answer: D. saquinavir.

However, this drug can cross into breast milk.

8. Answer: C. lactic acidosis.

This is accompanied by renal impairment. Option A and D are for anti-hepatitis C agents.

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