Trials in China have suggestes that Favipiravir could play a role in shortening the recovery time for patients infected with the new disease called Coronavirus Disease 2019. This disease is also known as COVID-19 where it was first identified in Wuhan, China in late 2019 month of December. This disease is spread from person to person. It may be through small droplets from the one who is infected through sneezing or coughing. The droplets can land on surfaces around the person and objects. Other people then might catch the virus if they breathe in the droplets from the person infected who coughs out. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in humans or animals. Several coronaviruses reasons for respiratory infections which ranges from the common cold to more severe illnesses. It’s symptoms includes:
⦁ Dry cough
⦁ Runny nose
⦁ Nasal congestion
⦁ Aches and pains
⦁ Sore throat
Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill. But, some people are at a higher risk. You may be at high risk if you:
⦁ have blood or bone marrow
⦁ have had an organ transplant
⦁ have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
⦁ are having certain types of cancer treatments
⦁ are pregnant and have serious heart disease
⦁ have a severe lung condition
⦁ are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
How is Favipiravir to be used?
The drug will be used on 100 patients with its data, analysis, and file of approval. The drug will be administered for a maximum of 14 days to coronavirus patients between 20 and 74 years old with mild pneumonia. The study will exclude pregnant women due to its side effects shown in animal testing.
China has already completed clinical trials of Favipiravir. Two trials in the country found the drug shortened recovery time for patients. The drug is currently approved for manufacture and sale in Japan as an antiviral drug for flu. It is expected that Favipiravir may have potentially have an antiviral effect on the new coronavirus.
On day one, the group – comprising 35 people all whom had a confirmed diagnosis of the infection and met the trial criteria, took 1,600 mg of Favipiravir twice in separate doses. Along with Favipiravir, there is an additional inhaled interferon as well.
On day two, this group reduced the dose into 600 mg twice a day and kept taking the inhaled interferon. Those who took inhaled Favipiravir, cleared the virus in an average of 4 days. The drug also showed a significant improvement in chest imaging.
Infected patients who were given the drug in Wuhan and Shenzhen tested negative for the virus after a median of 4 days. Researchers also found that the lung condition improved in about 91% of the patients who were given the drug. Favipiravir is specifically made to treat RNA viruses. It stops some viruses from replicating by crippling the enzyme called RNA polymerase.