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What is TPOXX used to treat?

Medically reviewed by Judith Stewart, BPharm. Last updated on June 1, 2022.

Official answer


TPOXX (tecovirimat) is used to treat smallpox disease in adults and children who weigh at least 3 kg.

Smallpox is caused by the variola virus and was eradicated in 1980, however there have been longstanding concerns that smallpox could be used as a bioweapon.

Smallpox was mainly spread by direct contact between people before it was eradicated.

Symptoms usually started 10 to 14 days after infection and included fever, exhaustion, headache, rash, pus-filled sores (often leading to scarring), and backache. Complications of smallpox could include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), corneal (eye) ulcerations and blindness.

TPOXX is available as oral capsules and as an injection for intravenous (IV) infusion. The IV formulation is an important option for those who are unable to swallow the oral capsules

TPOXX capsules are taken every 12 hours (patients 40 kg to less than 120 kg) or every 8 hours (patients over 120 kg) for 14 days. The capsules should be taken within 30 minutes after a full meal of moderate or high fat.

The intravenous infusion is administered over a period of six hours every 12 hours for 14 days.

Common adverse reactions to the capsules include headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Common adverse reactions to the injection include administration site reactions and headache.

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