Tpoxx, or tecovirimat, to treat smallpox disease in adults and pediatric patients weighing at least 13 kg.
The drug is designed to inhibit the systemic spread of the virus that causes smallpox by preventing the formation of a secondary viral envelope. When the envelope doesn’t exist, viral particles remain inside the cell that they are produced in and don’t spread and infect other cells.
The World Health Assembly declared smallpox eradicated in 1980, but research in U.S. continues to focus on the development of vaccines and drugs to protect people against the virus in case its used as an agent of bioterrorism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Common side effects include headache, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.