Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
Volume 27 | Issue 8 | Year 2023

Antiviral Drugs for Viral Pneumonia

Tapesh Bansalhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3812-6931

Department of Intensive Care and Medicine, Gurugram, Haryana, India

Corresponding Author: Tapesh Bansal, Department of Intensive Care and Medicine, Gurugram, Haryana, India, Phone: +91-0124 4585555, +91-0124 4260967, e-mail: tapeshbansal1@gmail.com

How to cite this article: Bansal T. Antiviral Drugs for Viral Pneumonia. Indian J Crit Care Med 2023;27(8):600.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None

Keywords: Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Treatment, Viral pneumonia.

In their article in the MAY issue of this journal:

Adenovirus-associated Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): Need for a Protocol-based Approach. Rishik Vashisht, Saeid Mirzai, Christine Koval, Abhijit Duggal. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020;24(5):367–368.

Have described a small case series of adenovirus pneumonia managed with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) protocol. However, there has been no mention of the use of antivirals.

Though large-scale trials are lacking for most viral pneumonias, there has been successful use of antivirals for different viruses described in the literature. In fact for adenovirus, cidofovir is recommended and there was a recent publication in NEJM1 regarding the same of successful use.

With the increased diagnosis of viral pneumonias with the availability of PCR, viral pneumonias are supposed to cause 20% of CAP is coming to the ICU.

Hence, it would be worthwhile to be aware of the antivirals available and worth trying for different pneumonias as some lives may be saved- ‘’ A stitch in time saves nine “(Table 1).

Table 1: Antiviral drugs for viral pneumonias2,3
Virus Antiviral drug
RSV Ribavirin
Adenovirus Cidofovir, Foscarnet
HSV, varicella zoster Acyclovir, Foscarnet
CMV Ganciclovir, Foscarnet, Valganciclovir
Influenza Oseltamivir, other NA Inhibitors, Amantadine, Baloxavir
Coronavirus Remdesivir, Nirmatrelvir-ritonavir, Molnupiravir


Tapesh Bansal https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3812-6931


1. Hibbert KA, Shepard JO, Lane RJ, Azar MM. A 39-Year-Old Woman with Rapidly Progressive Respiratory Failure. N Engl J Med 2018;378:182–190. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcpc1712222.

2. Treanor J. Viral Infections of the Lungs in Fishmans Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders. 5th edn. Grippi MA, Elias JA, Fishman JA, ed. McGraw Hill, pp. 1992.

3. Arabi YM, Fowler R, Hayden FG. Critical care management of adults with community‑acquired severe respiratory viral infection. Intensive Care Med 2020;46:315–328. DOI: 10.1007/s00134-020-05943-5.

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