What you should know about the COVID-19 pill


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Tablets for the treatment of COVID-19 are under development and it has the potential to become a game changer. It is called Molnupiravir and is made by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Dr. Sivanjari Shankaran, MD, responsible for general infectious diseases in inpatients and assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center, pill If it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, it works and what impact can it have on the pandemic?

What is a COVID-19 pill and how does it work?

Molnupiravir is an antiviral drug that prevents the growth of the virus that causes COVID-19. “If the virus can’t propagate, it’s essentially gone,” says Shankaran.

On the basis of Intermediate analysis Of the data from 775 patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, Merck said the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by about 50%. The pill is Risk factor Like obesity and diabetes, you are at risk of severe COVID-19. The pill was equally effective against a variety of COVID-19 variants, including delta. However, not all data is available yet. “When it comes out, we’ll understand more,” says Shankaran.

The drug also seems to reduce the “excretion” of the virus, which may help prevent the spread of the virus to others, says Shankaran. “If we can take drugs that not only reduce the risk of developing a serious illness, but also reduce the chances of getting the virus out, or get rid of the virus in a shorter amount of time, fewer people will get sick. , “She says. “It will hopefully delay the pandemic in combination with the vaccine.”

In October, Merck said it would seek FDA approval for a drug for emergency use.

How is this pill different from other COVID-19 treatments?

Currently, the only treatment approved for COVID-19 is remdesivir, an antiviral drug that is given intravenously (intravenously) for 5 days. Approved only for the treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID.

However, tablets that people with COVID-19 can take at home are much more convenient and readily available, says Shankaran.

How are Merck COVID-19 pills used by rush providers?

Oral treatment of COVID-19, according to Shankaran, may help doctors manage the disease more easily, as well as how to treat seasonal flu.

She predicts that pills are likely to be prescribed as soon as COVID-19 is confirmed to prevent people from developing more serious symptoms. “At COVID, virus It proliferates actively in the first 7-10 days. If you’re using an antiviral drug to prevent its growth, I’d like to do it in the meantime, “she says.

How long will Merck’s COVID-19 pill treatment last?

of Clinical trial, Patients took the pill twice daily for 5 days, says Shankaran.

What side effects does the COVID-19 pill cause?

Based on the data available so far, pills appear to be tolerable, says Shankaran. “Patients had some headaches and insomnia, but generally no significant adverse events,” she said, and more data analyzed by the provider will guide decision-making. I added that.

When will Merck’s COVID-19 pills be approved and available for use?

Shankaran says it’s too early to know when the FDA may make decisions about pills.Also how drag It will be distributed nationwide.

Can tablets to treat COVID-19 replace the vaccine?

“It’s always good to have more effective and safe options for patients, but pills are not a substitute for vaccines,” says Shankaran.

Vaccines remain important in tackling COVID-19 because they can prevent many infections, especially severe cases that require hospitalization. However, she says, if someone gets infected with COVID-19 regardless of whether they are vaccinated, the pills can help prevent them from developing a serious illness.

FDA is unlikely to decide on Merck’s COVID pill by December

Quote: You should know about the COVID-19 pill (October 21, 2021) obtained on October 21, 2021 from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-covid-pill-1.html matter

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The post What you should know about the COVID-19 pill appeared first on California News Times.


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