Antiviral drugs are a class of medication which are specifically used for treating viral infections only. Most of the antiviral medicines are used for a specific viral infections, while the broad-spectrum antiviral are effective against a wide range of viruses. Antiviral drugs only work against the viruses they do not fight against bacteria like antibiotics do. Antiviral drugs can shorten the length of the illness, give relief from the symptoms and help avoid complications. The symptoms of viral infection vary depending upon the type of virus that has caused the infection and it's actions. The treatment of viral infection depends totally on the way in which the virus attacked the body, its spread and progress.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, muscle aches, breathing, confusion, sudden dizziness, fatigue, running and stuffy nose etc. Some serious complications of viral infection, are pneumonia, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions. At times these complications can lead to death also, so it's very important to consult your doctor or to get medical help.
Antiviral drugs work in a number of different ways. Initially, they can change the genetic structure of the invaded cell, due to which the viruses can no longer use it to multiply but sometimes the cell can work normally after the viruses has left. Another method to prevent viruses multiplying is by blocking the enzyme activity in the invaded cell. Viral infection triggers a secretion of enzyme neuraminidase by the infected cells. This enzyme helps in releasing the newly formed virus particles that are attached to the cell wall. Thus it helps in multiplication of the viruses and the infection in the spreads throughout the body. The work of the anti-viral drugs, is to block the action of this enzyme. This prevents multiplication and thus restricts the infection to spread. Another method is by using an interferon substance, which has been produced by the viruses infected cells, to protect those cells that have not yet been invaded. By the means of genetic engineering, the interferon substances can be produced artificially. Vaccines are probably the most successful method to deal with the viruses by injecting the weaker form of the disease into the body. Thus the body becomes immune to far more deadlier diseases such as smallpox.
The flu antiviral drugs works best when the treatment is started as soon as possible after virus invasion in the body. However do consult your doctor or get a through health check up before consuming any type of anti-virus drugs because the dose and duration depends upon many factors like age, sex, whether you are allergenic to certain medicines or you are on medication, if you are pregnant or breast feeding mother, if you have heart or liver or kidney problems etc. Do not self administer your self.