DRUGS FOR CUTANEOUS VIRAL INFECTIONS
The specific antiviral agents used to treat cutaneous in-fections caused by herpes simplex and varicella zoster viruses.
Interferons -2b (Intron-A), -nl, and -n3 (Alferon N) have both intrinsic antiviral effects and antiproliferative and immunomodulatory actions. These interferons are approved for intralesional therapy of refractory or re-current condylomata (genital warts). Toxicities include flulike symptoms, nausea, depression of the white blood cell count, and mild diminution in hematocrit.
Podophyllotoxin (Podofilox) is available alone and as the main cytotoxic ingredient in podophyllin (25% podophyllum resin), a mixture of toxic chemicals de-rived from May apple plants. The active ingredients in-hibit cell mitosis. The drugs are used to treat condylo-mata acuminata.
The most common toxic effects are skin irritation and less commonly, ulceration. Systemic absorption of podophyllin can occur (especially if ap-plied to large, inflamed areas or mucosal surfaces), with gastrointestinal, hematological, renal, and hepatotoxic effects. In addition, seizures and peripheral neuropathy have been reported.
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