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
infants and children at high risk for complications
of RSV to prevent the infection or reduce its severity.
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:
Corticosteroids. 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.
Antibiotics. Antibiotics help the body destroy
bacteria and may be used to help treat or prevent complications that can occur
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
What to think about
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
Bronchodilators are effective about half the time for
babies.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.1
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this