• synthetic nucleoside
• inhibit viral DNA replication
• needs to be activated by conversion to acyclo-GMP by thymidine kinase, then converted to acyclo-GTP  inhibits DNA synthesis by inhibiting the viral DNA polymerase – also becomes incorporated into the viral DNA which further inhibits growth
• highly selective for herpes viruses (due to thymidine kinase produced by virus)
• herpes viruses can develop resistance (decreased thymidine kinase production, alteration of thymidine kinase, alteration of DNA polymerase)
• active against the herpes simplex family
• indicated for genital herpes simplex, mucocutaneous herpes simplex, shingles, chickenpox
• can be applied topically, taken orally, or IV
• adverse effects – dizziness, ataxia, headache, diarrhoea

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