Brivudine is an analogue of the nucleosidethymidine. The drug works because it is able to be incorporated into the viral DNA, but then blocks the action of DNA polymerases, thus inhibiting viral replication. The active compound is the 5'-triphosphate of BVDU, which is formed in subsequent phosphorylations by viral thymidine kinase and presumably by nucleoside diphosphate kinase.
Brivudine derives from the drug's chemical name of bromovinyldeoxyuridine or BVDU for short. The drug's full chemical description is (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2-deoxyuridine. It is also sold as Bridic, Brivox, Brivudin, Helpin, Zerpex, Zonavir and Zostex.
Brivudine main supplier is Berlin-Chemie, now part of Italy's Menarini Group. The drug is approved for sale in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain. In Central America is provided Menarini Centro America and Wyeth.