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Foscarnet sodium is an antiviral medication which is mainly used for the treatment of the virus cytomegalovirus (CMV) which effects part of the eye (CMV retinitis) in AIDS patients. It is also used for herpes simplex viral infections resistant to the antiviral medication aciclovir in patients with a reduced immune system. It is administered by intravenous infusion only. It acts by blocking viral proteins (DNA polymerase and reverse transcriptase) , which are necessary for copying genetic material (from RNA to DNA) . This copying process is required for the reproduction and hence the survival of the virus. Normally there are special cells in the body called T-lymphocytes which fight infection. Some people have a decreased ability to fight infection, for example people with HIV. These people are therefore more likely to become infected with CMV.
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