Trifluridine (also called trifluorothymidine or TFT) is an anti-herpesvirus antiviral drug, used primarily on the eye. It was sold under the trade name, Viroptic, by Glaxo Wellcome, now merged into GlaxoSmithKline. It is a nucleoside analogue, a modified form of deoxyuridine, similar enough to be incorporated into viral DNA replication, but the -CF3 group added to the uracil component blocks base pairing, thus interfering with DNA replication. It is a component of the experimental anti-cancer drug TAS-102. Trifluridine is a fluorinated pyrimidine nucleoside with in vitro and in vivo activity against herpes simplex virus, types 1 and 2 and vaccinia virus. Some strains of adenovirus are also inhibited in vitro. VIROPTIC is also effective in the treatment of epithelial keratitis that has not responded clinically to the topical administration of idoxuridine or when ocular toxicity or hypersensitivity to idoxuridine has occurred. In a smaller number of patients found to be resistant to topical vidarabine, VIROPTIC was also effective. The mechanism of action of trifluridine has not been fully determined, but appears to involve the inhibition of viral replication. Trifluridine does this by incorporating into viral DNA during replication, which leads to the formation of defective proteins and an increased mutation rate. NCATS
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