Adenovirus Medication

Updated: Apr 15, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print

Medication Summary

Medical therapy is not indicated in healthy hosts. However, adenoviral keratitis has been treated with early topical steroids to avoid loss of sight; refer to the available ophthalmologic literature for details on the management of adenoviral ophthalmologic infections.

Ribavirin and cidofovir therapy have been used with variable success in immunosuppressed hosts. Anecdotal evidence suggests success against adenoviral infection with combined intravenous ribavirin and pooled human intravenous immunoglobulin. Also anecdotally, intravesical cidofovir has been reported to be successful in persons with adenoviral hemorrhagic cystitis; the latter delivery method may obviate the systemic toxicity of this agent and warrants investigation. [57]

Weighing the severity of illness, the likelihood of response in a given setting, and the possibility of adverse events, decisions regarding treatment should be individualized at this time. Evidence-based standardized treatment guidelines currently are lacking, and consultation with an infectious diseases clinician is recommended.



Class Summary

These agents inhibit viral DNA and protein synthesis.

Ribavirin (Virazole)

Inhibits viral replication by inhibiting DNA and RNA synthesis. Antiviral against RSV, influenza virus, herpes simplex virus, and hepatitis C virus. The latter requires adjunctive treatment with interferons.

The likelihood that most adenovirus infections in immunosuppressed hosts are disseminated warrants intravenous rather than inhalational therapy, including in the setting of adenoviral pneumonia.

Cidofovir (Vistide)

Nucleotide analog that selectively inhibits viral DNA production in CMV and other herpes viruses. Indicated for CMV retinitis.



Class Summary

Decreases incidence of adenovirus outbreaks in military personnel.

Adenovirus vaccine types 4 and 7 live, oral

Live oral vaccine that replicates in intestinal tract and induces immunity in persons with low or no preexisting neutralizing antibodies to adenoviruses types 4 and 7. Indicated for active immunization of military populations aged 17-50 y for prevention of febrile acute respiratory disease caused by adenovirus types 4 and 7.