Introduction: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes lower respiratory tract infections and can lead to morbidity and mortality in the infant, elderly and immunocompromised. There is no vaccine and therapeutic interventions are limited. RSV disease research has yielded the development of several prophylactic and therapeutic treatments. Several promising candidates are currently under investigation. Areas covered: Small and large molecule approaches to RSV treatment were examined and categorized by their mechanism of action using data from PubMed, clinicaltrials.gov, and from the sponsoring organizations publicly available pipeline information. These results are prefaced by an overview of RSV to provide the context for rational therapy development. Expert opinion: While small molecule drugs show promise for RSV treatment, we believe that large molecule therapy using anti-RSV G and F protein monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) will most efficaciously and safely ameliorate RSV disease.