What is Trifluridine

Trifluridine (also known as trifluorothymidine) is an ophthalmic antiviral preparation indicated for primary keratoconjunctivitis and recurrent epithelial keratitis due to herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2.

Trifluridine is the treatment of choice for this indication and therapy is associated with a cure rate greater than 90%. HSV infections resistant to idoxuridine and/or vidarabine are effectively treated with trifluridine without cross-toxicity or allergenicity.

Additionally, trifluridine shows in vitro and in vivo activity against vaccinia virus and in vitro inhibition of some strains of adenovirus.

Off-label use of topical ophthalmic trifluridine can be considered for treatment of vaccinia infection of the conjunctiva or cornea associated with smallpox vaccination.

Prophylactic therapy with trifluridine may also be considered to prevent spread to the conjunctiva and cornea if vaccinia lesions are present on the eyelid or near the eye.

Trifluorothymidine was first developed as an antitumor agent and was later found to inhibit HSV in vitro. Compared to other systemic agents, it displayed low selectivity and high toxicity and, thus, was not developed for systemic use.

This drug was approved by the FDA as a topical 1% ophthalmic solution in April 1980.

Brand Name



  1. adenovirus
  2. herpes genitalis
  3. herpes simplex keratitis (dendritic keratitis)
  4. herpes simplex virus infection
  5. herpes simplex virus type 1
  6. herpes simplex virus type 2
  7. keratoconjunctivitis
  8. vaccinia virus
  9. viral conjunctivitis

Side Effects

  1. blepharedema
  2. contact dermatitis
  3. corneal edema
  4. hyperemia
  5. keratitis
  6. keratopathy
  7. ocular hypertension
  8. ocular irritation

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • geriatric
  • infants
  • neonates
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Trifluridine products.


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