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Systematic (IUPAC) name
1-[(2R,3R,4S,5S)- 3,4-dihydroxy-5- (hydroxymethyl)oxolan-2-yl]- 1,2,4-triazole-3-carboximidamide
CAS number 119567-79-2
ATC code J05AB04
PubChem 451448
DrugBank none
Chemical data
Formula C8H13N5O4 
Mol. mass 243.220 g/mol (279.681 g/mol for HCl salt)
Synonyms 1-(β-D-Ribofuranosyl)-
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 9%
Metabolism Metabolized to 5'phosphates, de-riboside, and deriboside carboxylic acid
Half life 12 days - Multiple Dose; 120-170 hours - Single Dose
Excretion 10% fecal, remainder in urine (30% unchanged, remainder metabolites)
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status

In Phase III drug trials

Routes Oral capsule

Taribavirin (rINN; also known as viramidine, codenamed ICN 3142) is an antiviral drug in Phase III human trials, but not yet approved for pharmaceutical use. It is a prodrug of ribavirin, active against a number of DNA and RNA viruses. Taribavirin has better liver-targeting than ribavirin, and has a shorter life in the body due to less penetration and storage in red blood cells. It is expected eventually to be the drug of choice for viral hepatitis syndromes in which ribavirin is active. These include hepatitis C and perhaps also hepatitis B and yellow fever.

Taribavirin is as active against influenza as ribavirin in animal models, with slightly less toxicity, so it may also eventually replace ribavirin as an anti-influenza agent.

Taribavirin is being developed by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the parent company of Ribapharm, the company which first reported synthesis and testing of the drug in 1973. Valeant is testing the drug as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C.

Note on formulas: The carboxamidine group of this molecule is somewhat basic, and therefore this drug is also known and administered as the hydrochloride salt (with a corresponding .HCl chemical formula and different ChemID / PubChem number). At physiologic pH, the positive charge on the molecule from partial protonation of the carboximide group contributes to the relative slowness with which the drug crosses cell membranes (such as in red blood cells) until it has been metabolized into ribavirin. In the liver, however, the transformation from carboxamidine to carboxamide happens on first-pass metabolism and contributes to the higher levels of ribavirin found in liver cells and bile when viramidine is administered.


  1. Barnard, D (2002). "Viramidine (Ribapharm)". Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs 3 (11): 1585-9.
  2. Gish, Robert G. (January 2006). "Treating HCV with ribavirin analogues and ribavirin-like molecules". Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 57 (1): 8-13. doi:10.1093/jac/dki405. PMID 16293677.
  3. Lin, Chin-Chung; Kenneth Luu, David Lourenco, and Li-Tain Yeh (2003). "Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism of 14C Viramidine in Rats and Cynomolgus Monkeys". Antimicrob Agents Chemother 47 (8): 458–2463.
  4. Sidwell, RW; Bailey KW, Wong MH, Barnard DL, Smee DF (October 2005). "In vitro and in vivo influenza virus-inhibitory effects of viramidine". Antiviral Research 68 (1): 8-13. PMID 16087250.
  5. Witkowski, J. T.; Robins, R. K., Khare, G. P. et al (1973). "Synthesis and antiviral activity of 1,2,4-triazole-3-thiocarboxamide and 1,2,4-triazole-3-carboxamidine ribonucleosides". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 16: 935-7.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Taribavirin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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