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Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Jun 15;36(12):1523-32. Epub 2003 Jun 6.

Efficacy and safety of oral pleconaril for treatment of colds due to picornaviruses in adults: results of 2 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.


The novel capsid-binding antiviral pleconaril inhibits in vitro replication of most rhinoviruses and enteroviruses. Oral pleconaril treatment was studied in 2 parallel randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Among 1363 picornavirus-infected participants (65%) in the studies combined, the median time to alleviation of illness was 1 day shorter for pleconaril recipients than for placebo recipients (P<.001). Cold symptom scores and frequency of picornavirus cultured from nasal mucus specimens were lower among pleconaril recipients by day 2 of treatment. No treatment effects were seen in those without picornavirus infection. Pleconaril was associated with a higher incidence of nausea (6% vs. 4%) and diarrhea (9% vs. 7%) and with small increases in mean serum cholesterol levels and platelet counts, compared with baseline measurements. A subsequent 6-week prophylaxis study found that pleconaril induces cytochrome P-450 3A enzymes, which metabolize a variety of drugs, including ethinyl estradiol. Early pleconaril treatment was well tolerated and significantly reduced the duration and severity of colds due to picornaviruses in adults.

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