Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection
Most respiratory syncytial viral (RSV) infections do not require prescription medicines. But medicines may be recommended for certain people to help:
- Prevent RSV infection.
- Treat RSV infection and its complications.
A medicine may be given to Reference infants and children at high risk for complications of RSV to prevent the infection or reduce its severity. Reference Monoclonal antibodies, such as palivizumab (Synagis), are usually given in monthly doses for up to 5 months. This medicine can stop RSV from multiplying.
Medicines to help treat complications of RSV infection include:
- Reference Corticosteroids Opens New Window. These medicines may be used if a child has an RSV infection and also has asthma or an allergic-type breathing problem. But corticosteroids are not used now as often as they were used in the past.
- Reference Antibiotics Opens New Window. Antibiotics help the body destroy bacteria and may be used to help treat or prevent complications that can occur from RSV.
- Reference Bronchodilators. They relax the muscle layer that surrounds the breathing tubes in the lung, allowing them to expand and move air more easily. This may help to reduce Reference wheezing Opens New Window.
What to think about
- Reference Ribavirin (Virazole) is an antiviral medicine that is very rarely used to treat people with RSV infections who have a high risk of developing complications. Studies so far have provided conflicting evidence regarding its effectiveness. The doctor will consider the particular circumstances of the person being treated before making a recommendation about ribavirin.
- Bronchodilators are effective about half the time for babies.Reference 3 Many experts recommend that bronchodilators be tried initially for babies who are having trouble breathing. If the baby is able to breathe easier right away, the medicine can be continued.Reference 1
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 25, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics