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Molnupiravir, the first pill against Covid

On November 4, Great Britain officially approved the first drug for the treatment of Covid-19: Molnupiravir. It was about one antiviral pill that was originally designed to combat the flu and that day was presented in an official statement as: “A safe and effective medicine to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in those patients who are at higher risk of suffering from severe symptoms of COVID-19” .


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Lagevrio is the commercial name of Molnupiravir

At that time the European Medicines Agency (EMA), even without having approved it, said that it was ready to advise countries on this treatment. And today, on its website, it explains that: – «Lagevriowhich is the commercial name of the Molnupiravir, is an oral antiviral drug that reduces the ability of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) to multiply in the body. – “It does so by increasing the number of alterations (mutations) in the genetic material of the virus (known as RNA) in a way that affects the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to multiply.” – “Lagevrio is being developed by Merck Sharp & Dohme in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.”

Lagevrio today is an unauthorized drug

At this time Lagevrio continues to be a medicine Not authorized. And it is because, although the European Medicines Agency (EMA) already has at its disposal the final data of the clinical trial carried out with 1,433 participants, they are still in the study phase.

But it has the recommendation to the authorities

Lagevrio’s situation is similar to what happened with vaccines in the early days, which initially obtained authorization from the authorities “for emergency cases.” Molnupiravir does not yet have official authorization, but it is a drug recommended by the EMA for special situations in high-risk patients.

A new study confirms the good forecasts

Now, almost 4 months after that hopeful day, a new study by Indian researchers confirms the reliability of Molnupiravir. It is a study that offers stronger results than previous research on the effectiveness of the drug. And in it, the antiviral pill demonstrates its ability to reduce the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 by 65%. The study was carried out at the Antiviral Research and Treatment Clinic in Chennai, India. And it involved 1,218 Indian adults infected with the coronavirus and experiencing mild symptoms. The scientists divided them into groups of comparable size. And the results showed that only 1.5 percent of the pill group required hospitalizationcompared to 4.3% in the group that did not receive the pill.
Lagevrio is the commercial name of Molnupiravir

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It also reduces viral load

In addition, this study, like the one carried out by Merck itself, shows a reduction not only in hospitalization, but also in viral load, that is, in the amount of virus that you can detect in the nose from before to after of the treatment. And also both studies show a substantial improvement in symptom resolution.

Questions and answers about Molnupiravir

From the very beginning, Yale Medicine’s infectious disease specialist, Dr Albert Shaw, said that: “This drug has the potential to be a really important advance. Because until now the treatments were administered intravenously, but this is a pill that your doctor could prescribe and that anyone could buy in a pharmacy. The drug is available only by prescription and must be started within five days of symptoms, the FDA said, adding that it is not a substitute for vaccination. Merck’s pill works by inserting errors into the genes of the virus to prevent it from replicating, and one of the biggest concerns it has raised is the risk it could pose to people’s reproductive systems. But it would be better to take advantage of Yale University specialists to answer the most frequently asked questions about the drug: 1. How and when is Molnupiravir taken? The first thing we should know is that it is not a preventive pill, but must be taken when a person already has symptoms of COVID-19, but within the first 5 days. The planned dose is four capsules twice a day for five days, that is, 20 doses in total.

2. How does it work?

As the EMA itself explains, and to make it simple, when the drug enters the bloodstream, what it does is block the replication capacity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. How? Well, triggering the mutations of the virus to the point of preventing it from working.

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3. Does it have side effects?

According to the first analysis presented in the Merck clinical trial, and the study now conducted in India, the drug appears to have what is called a “clean security profile», since no serious side effects have been detected in the trial volunteers. So far the only side effects that have been reported are diarrhoea, dizziness and nausea.

4. Does it prevent infection or serious illness and death?

That is the main objective of this pill: to keep people out of the hospital. And with the two studies known to date, it does seem capable of considerably reducing severe COVID-19 and in many cases avoiding hospitalization.
Molnupiravir is taken as four capsules, twice a day, for five daysMolnupiravir is taken in four capsules, twice a day, for five days Of course it is not foolproof, but the results are very promising

5. Who is this medicine recommended for?

Molnupiravir is approved for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults 18 years of age and older who may be at high risk of worsening, including hospitalization or death.
Not authorized for children and adolescents under 18 years of agebecause it can affect the growth of bones and cartilage.

6. Can pregnant women take it? And to breastfeed?

Molnupiravir is not recommended for use during pregnancy because findings from animal reproduction studies showed that it can cause fetal harm. If you are pregnant, you should take it only if the benefits outweigh the potential risks and your doctor has told you so. Breastfeeding is also not recommended during treatment with Molnupiravir, nor for four days after the last dose. Studies also recommend that women and men of “reproductive potential” use contraception while on treatment. – Women up to 4 days after the last dose – Men up to 3 months after the last dose.

7. When the doctor can already prescribe Lagevrio, will we still need vaccines?

The experts do not seem to have any doubts. And they say that even if new COVID-19 drugs are successful in real-world settings, vaccination will still be essential to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and slow its spread. “People who are vaccinated are much less likely to get sick and need any treatment, and that is decisive. We can’t trade one for the other.”

sonu is a content writer who had worked on various niches. And served many clients. He is a management student also interested in research and marketing. His hobby is writing, reading and sketching. He is also a good orator.

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