COVID-19 Oral Antiviral

The First COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Treatment will be launched in Egypt soon

The First COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Treatment will be launched in Egypt soon

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The drug is an oral antiviral treatment and its scientific name is Molnupiravir. It is the first oral, direct-acting antiviral shown to be highly effective at reducing nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus and viral RNA and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile. This drug is recently approved by FDA. It’s developed by the US drug companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, Molnupiravir is the first antiviral medication for Covid-19 which can be taken as a pill rather than injected or given intravenously.

The Egyptian trade name of Molnupiravir is expected to be Hochsterpiravir by Hochester Company. It's now Approved by the Egyptian Drug Authority. 

 

FDA Approval of Oral Antiviral Treatment

In 23rd of December 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Merck’s molnupiravir for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate. Molnupiravir is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.

 

Clinical trials results of Molnupiravir

Among 202 treated participants, virus isolation was significantly lower in participants receiving 800 mg molnupiravir (1.9%) versus placebo (16.7%) at Day 3 (p = 0.02). At Day 5, virus was not isolated from any participants receiving 400 or 800 mg molnupiravir, versus 11.1% of those receiving placebo (p = 0.03). Time to viral RNA clearance was decreased and a greater proportion overall achieved clearance in participants administered 800 mg molnupiravir versus placebo (p = 0.01). Molnupiravir was generally well tolerated, with similar numbers of adverse events across all groups.

 

Mechanism of Action of Molnupiravir

Molnupiravir is the first oral, direct-acting antiviral shown to be highly effective at reducing nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus and viral RNA and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile.

 

Dose of Molnupiravir

Molnupiravir will be given twice a day to patients recently diagnosed with the disease.

In clinical trials the pill, originally developed to treat flu, it reduced the risk of hospitalization and mortality rate by about 50% according to the clinical trials.

 

Molnupiravir and Pregnancy

Use in pregnancy is not recommended. There are no human data on use during pregnancy to assess the risk of adverse maternal or fetal side effects or teratogenicity.

Based on animal data, the drug may cause fetal harm. During organogenesis to the fetus, embryofetal lethality and teratogenicity were observed in rats, and reduced fetal weight in rats and rabbits.

 

Molnupiravir and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment due to potential adverse reactions in the infant. There are no data on the presence of the drug or its metabolites in human milk. It is not known whether it has an effect on the infant or on milk production.

 

Molnupiravir use in children

Use in children under 18 years of age can affect bone and cartilage growth. In rats, bone and cartilage toxicity was observed after repeated dosing.

 

Conclusions of the use of COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Treatment

Molnupiravir is the first oral, direct-acting antiviral shown to be highly effective at reducing nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus and viral RNA and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile. The efficacy against hospitalization or death in unvaccinated adult outpatients with mild or moderate COVID-19 and at least one risk factor for disease progression is about 30%.

See Also

Types of Coronavirus Vaccine

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Link 

 

References 

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