Prevention and Treatment of Monkeypox

Drugs. 2022 Jun;82(9):957-963. doi: 10.1007/s40265-022-01742-y. Epub 2022 Jun 28.


Human monkeypox is a zoonotic orthopoxvirus with presentation similar to smallpox. Monkeypox is transmitted incidentally to humans when they encounter infected animals. Reports have shown that the virus can also be transmitted through direct contact (sexual or skin-to-skin), respiratory droplets, and via fomites such as towels and bedding. Multiple medical countermeasures are stockpiled for orthopoxviruses such as monkeypox. Two vaccines are currently available, JYNNEOSTM (live, replication incompetent vaccinia virus) and ACAM2000® (live, replication competent vaccinia virus). While most cases of monkeypox will have mild and self-limited disease, with supportive care being typically sufficient, antivirals (e.g. tecovirimat, brincidofovir, cidofovir) and vaccinia immune globulin intravenous (VIGIV) are available as treatments. Antivirals can be considered in severe disease, immunocompromised patients, pediatrics, pregnant and breastfeeding women, complicated lesions, and when lesions appear near the mouth, eyes, and genitals. The purpose of this short review is to describe each of these countermeasures.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Cidofovir
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mpox (monkeypox)* / drug therapy
  • Mpox (monkeypox)* / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Smallpox* / drug therapy
  • Vaccinia virus


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cidofovir