The use of antivirals in the treatment of human monkeypox outbreaks: a systematic review

Muhammad Aaqib Shamim, Bijaya Kumar Padhi, Prakasini Satapathy, Sai D. Veeramachaneni, Chandrima Chatterjee, Snehasish Tripathy, Naushaba Akhtar, Anindita Pradhan, Pradeep Dwivedi, Aroop Mohanty, Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales, Ranjit Sah, Ala'a B. Al-Tammemi, Jaffar A. Al-Tawfiq, Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia, Vijay Kumar Chattu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: Human monkeypox virus (MPXV) infection is a recently declared public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. Besides, there is scant literature available on the use of antivirals in MPXV infection. This systematic review compiles all evidence of various antivirals used on their efficacy and safety and summarizes their mechanisms of action. Methods: A review was done of all original studies mentioning individual patient data on the use of antivirals in patients with MPXV infection. Results: Of the total 487 non-duplicate studies, 18 studies with 71 individuals were included. Tecovirimat was used in 61 individuals, followed by cidofovir in seven and brincidofovir (BCV) in three individuals. Topical trifluridine was used in four ophthalmic cases in addition to tecovirimat. Of the total, 59 (83.1%) were reported to have complete resolution of symptoms; one was experiencing waxing and waning of symptoms, only one (1.8%) had died, and the others were having a resolution of symptoms. The death was thought unrelated to tecovirimat. Elevated hepatic panels were reported among all individuals treated with BCV (leading to treatment discontinuation) and five treated with tecovirimat. Conclusion: Tecovirimat is the most used and has proven beneficial in several aggravating cases. No major safety concerns were detected upon its use. Topical trifluridine was used as an adjuvant treatment option along with tecovirimat. BCV and cidofovir were seldom used, with the latter often being used due to the unavailability of tecovirimat. BCV was associated with treatment discontinuation due to adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-161
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiviral
  • Brincidofovir
  • Cidofovir
  • Monkeypox
  • Tecovirimat
  • Treatment


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