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 from RSV.
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 wheezing.
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 ribavirin.
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
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 09, 2014
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