Oral antivirals against coronavirus show promise in clinical studies


“The bottom line is that they work against the virus by stopping its replication,” said Dr Farrin Manian

ST. LOUIS – Doctors may soon be using another tool in their fight against COVID, and they won’t force you to roll up your sleeves.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Dr Farrin Manian.

Dr Farrin Manian, chief of medicine at Mercy Hospital, says he is finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel 18 months after the start of the COVID pandemic.

“It’s absolutely essential that we always have the shot,” said Dr Manian. “We want to have as much protection as possible. “

Right now, the only antiviral available to doctors is known as Remdesivir, but studies on it are divided.

“It only comes in an intravenous form and is for people who are really very sick,” said Dr Manian. “At least sick enough to be hospitalized with COVID. “

While Pfizer has two antivirals that show promise in clinical studies, a drug made by Merck known as Molnupiravir has encouraged Dr. Manian for our future.

“The bottom line is that they work against the virus by stopping its replication,” said Dr Manian.

This means shortened infection times and the prevention of severe cases that lead to death while making people less contagious.

“They might not be that much affected by all of the mutations we’ve seen with the Delta virus and all the other types of variants, which is great because it would be great to have a drug that we don’t have to. use. change every few months because the virus changes, ”said Dr Manian

Although Dr Manian believes the antivirals will be similar to Tamiflu, which requires a prescription, we wanted to know if they could possibly be used in place of the vaccine.

“It’s great to have both,” said Dr Manian. “The vaccine is always going to be a critical part of our prevention of COVID, but in case people get sick, we can give these drugs early enough to prevent people from entering the hospital and having complications. “

Unfortunately, these antivirals are not available locally as they are in Phase 3 clinical trials, but it is hoped that they could be approved to help fight COVID by Christmas.

The Biden administration has already agreed to purchase 1.7 million doses of the antiviral Merck, but that depends on the drug’s emergency clearance or full FDA approval.

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About Terry Gongora

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