Dr. Komarovsky on antiviral drugs


As soon as the cold comes, Russians begin to buy antiviral drugs in pharmacies in the hope of using them to protect themselves from flu and ARVI. Many parents deal with child prophylaxis with special diligence - antivirus drips into the nose of a toddler drops, give pills with the same effect. And if the viral illness still hits the child, then they begin to give all the same antiviral drugs, but only in large quantities. Whether it is necessary to do this and whether such medications help to protect the child from infection, says the well-known children's doctor Yevgeny Komarovsky.

Antiviral drugs

Medicines against viruses, there are many. In pharmacology, they are divided into several groups:

  • anti-influenza;
  • antiherpetic;
  • M2 channel blockers;
  • neuroaminidase inhibitors;
  • extended action drugs.

The action of some drugs is based on the activation of the immune defense of organisms, other medicines directly "kill" virus particles. In the first group, there are means that stimulate the production of interferon, a special protein that takes an active part in immune processes, and means that “deliver” to the body this interferon, obtained from donor blood and already “familiar” with the virus, thanks to laboratories of gene engineers

Russia is one of the few countries where antiviral drugs in pharmacies can be bought without a doctor's prescription. In addition, in our state the market for drugs against viruses is extremely wide. If there are only five anti-influenza drugs in the USA, then we can count a few dozen of these. Such a broad advertising campaign, as we have, antiviral pills and syrups do not have in any other country in the world ..

The fact is that there are few funds with proven efficiency in Russia. The overwhelming mass of the fact that advertising is positioned as “an effective way to protect against flu and ORVI” is nothing more than a marketing ploy, which during the cold season allows manufacturers to get billions of dollars in profits.

Viral infections account for about 90% of all childhood diseases, says Yevgeny Komarovsky. And the majority of children under the age of 7 suffer not once, not twice a year, but up to 10 times. Such diseases are especially dangerous for children who have not yet turned 3 years old. Even inexpensive drugs for viruses cost about 100 rubles per box. You do not need to be an academician to carry out simple calculations and understand how profitable it is for pharmacists and interested people in the Ministry of Health to advertise and sell children's antiviral drugs.


Many drugs, designated by pharmacists, as antiviral, are really capable of destroying viral particles. But only in the laboratory, in vitro. This ability manufacturers give for efficiency. And in clinical conditions, the test results are not so bright. In most cases, the drugs do not have the same “slaughter” effect on the virus if the virus is in the human body, and not in a laboratory test tube.

However, manufacturers indicate that the drug is tested. True, nowhere, even on the official website of this manufacturer, the suffering will not find the truthful report on the conducted clinical trials.

Many drug manufacturers prefer to invest money in advertising a new drug for “flu and other dangerous viruses” than to order high-quality and proper testing of their medicine for a large group of people. Not because, apparently, that it is very pitiful of money, but because they understand perfectly well what the results of this test will be: none, zero or insufficient for a convincing conclusion, according to the requirements of evidence-based medicine. And I don’t really want to write “Efficiency is not proved” on the box.


Features of any virus lies in the fact that he is not able to reproduce their own kind Replication of the virus occurs only in the cells of the human body. Embedding in them, the virus with the help of its DNA changes it, makes it "work" on itself. To destroy the virus, you need to destroy the cell affected by the "invader". And this, whatever one may say, does not pass for the organism without a trace.

Thus, according to Komarovsky, there are few antiviral agents with proven efficacy that can affect agent-infected cells, but they exist. But they cannot be called harmless.

Typically, these drugs are used in hospitals, many of them require intravenous administration. By the bright boxes on the shelves of pharmacies, which the pharmacist diligently offers parents in the period of total morbidity, these "serious" means have nothing to do.

For treatment

Drugs with antiviral effects, as a rule, have a strictly limited spectrum of action. A specific tool acts on a strictly specific type of virus, and on no other. Among the means with proven effectiveness, which belong to the category of "serious" and, by the way, are not completely advertised, include such drugs:

  • Against the flu virus - Ribavirin, Oseltamivir.
  • Against the herpes virus - "Acyclovir»,
  • Against the retrovirus - "Adefovir", "Indinavir."

A universal antiviral drug that would act on viral infections in general does not exist.

All other medications, including homeopathic, help no longer a sick child, but his agitated mother. She gives pills, and is calm for doing everything possible for her child. Doctors know this, and therefore willingly prescribe such means as "Anaferon"," Otsillokotsinum "," Viferon "with signs of SARS or flu.

Harm these drugs to the child can not, much of the benefits from them either.

A viral ailment will pass on 4-5 days, by this time the immunity will completely cope with the alien "invader". The same 4-5 days are indicated in the instructions for tablets and manufacturers of supposedly "antiviral" drugs.

After all, after the child recovers, it will never occur to anyone to figure out exactly what cured him — the pills or his own immunity. The situation for pharmacists is completely win-win.

For prophylaxis

There is no point in using antiviral drugs for prophylaxis, says Yevgeny Komarovsky. They do not in any way affect the possibility of contracting a virus.

Most often, children "pick up" the infection by airborne droplets - in children's groups, in public transport, in stores. The more around the child of other people, the higher the likelihood of catching SARS. And no pills and syrups that mom properly feeds the child every morning are not able to change it.

The same is true for viruses that are transmitted by contact - herpes, for example. Prevention, as such, in relation to herpes infections does not exist at all, and medication - in particular.

Viruses that enter the body of the child through the mouth, with water, are unlikely to lose activity if the child regularly drinks antiviral syrup.

Anyone can become infected, it can happen at any time.But one child, with stronger immunity, will get sick quickly, and the other will suffer longer, and after a couple of months, or even earlier, he will get sick again. The solution is to strengthen the immune system. But not with pills, but by creating the right conditions for the development and growth of a baby.

The best way to prevent viral infections is vaccination. When immunity is confronted with a weakened virus that is contained in a vaccine, antibodies against this virus are produced, and if the disease starts, recovery will be faster, as the immune defense recognizes the enemy faster and disables it.


Today, the word “interferon” is known to all parents, and, thanks to commercials, they believe that he will definitely cure the child of the flu. Yevgeny Komarovsky says that interferon itself - a specific protein - is not able to affect the virus in any way. His task is to activate other cells involved in the immune response to the fight and he is a commander in the process.

That is why small doses of interferon, which are contained in nasal drops, in tablets, do not oblige the body at all, and large doses are contained in preparations that are used only when a serious illness threatens a person’s life - a tumor complicated hepatitisAids. Such injections are made in the hospital, often in intensive care. Interferon in such quantities is very poorly tolerated by patients, but it performs its function.

All that offer pharmacies for the treatment of children at home on the basis of interferon - drugs with unproven efficacy. To drip them or not is up to the parents. For your own peace of mind, you can pokapat, there will be no harm, but you can also not count on a particular benefit.

Homeopathic remedies

With these tools, things are even more complicated. Official medicine does not recognize homeopathy categorically, since it does not comply with the principles of evidence. Komarovsky believes that the effect of such drugs is based on the so-called "placebo effect."

For more information about antiviral drugs, see Dr. Komarovsky’s program.

Tips of Dr. Komarovsky

The most effective measures for treating viral infections are regular walks in the open air, away from crowds, in the park, moisturizing the nasal mucous membranes, drinking heavily and a minimum of medicines. At elevated temperatures - bed rest. It is important that the room of the sick child is not hot - not higher than 18-19 degrees of heat. Relative air humidity should be maintained at 50-70%.

The best means of prevention - to refrain from visiting places of mass stay of people in a period of increased incidence of ARVI. It is also important to observe the correct microclimate (described above), and give the child approved vitamins. Particular attention should be paid to the prevention of children aged 2 years and older who have already started attending kindergarten. Time to get flu shots.

For more information on antiviral drugs, see Dr. Komarovsky’s program.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.