Scientists, researchers, and members of medical institutes across the world are caught amidst a race to find a vaccine and medicine for treating COVID-19. The pandemic has caused losses to quite a great extent by now: mentally, physically, economically, and otherwise.
Even though the lockdown rules have been eased to an extent, people are still panic-stricken. There is only one thing that we all commonly look forward to now– a valid medical solution.
Researchers from Oxford University have already made a breakthrough with the success of dexamethasone reducing the death risks for severe COVID-19 cases.
While trials to find medication have continued, last Friday, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals announced that the Drug Controller General Of India (DCGI) has approved the manufacturing and marketing of an anti-viral drug named Favipiravir for treating patients with the novel coronavirus.
The History Behind Favipiravir?
It was initially developed by a company in the year 1990, which was later taken over by a Japanese firm. The Japanese got it approved in the year 2014 for its use against flu epidemics, especially Influenza.
The Japanese had named it Avigan then. In the present scenario, this drug has been put under 18 trials including 3,000 patients across the world. Mumbai based pharmaceutical Glenmark, was among the first to announce its approval after two successful trials.
The press release issued by Glenmark on Saturday said – “Glenmark filed the product for clinical trial with India’s drug regulator DCGI and became the first pharmaceutical company in India to receive approval for conducting phase 3 clinical trial on mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.”
The company has now branded the medicine for COVID-19 as FabiFlu in India.
How Does It Work?
This anti-viral drug was tested on patients with mild to moderate symptoms. The results were then compared with those of other anti-viral drugs.
Trial reports from both China and Japan had given positive reviews on the use of this anti-viral on the patients in the past. Most of the patients showed a 74% sign of improvement within the first seven days itself.
In India, they studied 150 patients who were put to test for the trial to check the efficacy and the safety involved with the use of this drug.
An improvement of up to 88 percent was shown in administering this drug.
Glenmark has stated that this drug can be used on patients with co-morbid conditions like diabetes and heart disease. However, it should not be used on patients who have kidney or liver impairment and are lactating mothers or pregnant.
They have proposed that the drug should be used in combination with Umifenovir, which is an approved drug for influenza. They will be publishing the detailed results of the trials shortly.
Can It Be Used Soon?
Currently, Favipiravir seems to be the first medication to have been approved for those with mild and moderate symptoms of COVID-19. It has been approved by the DCGI. A complete synthesis was done by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research for the same in April.
It will be orally administered to the patients. It should be available to the masses on a prescription- based medication by the end of the month. The dosage has been recommended to be set at 1800 mg twice daily on day 1, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14.
Bangladesh has already launched it commercially, while there are other countries like Italy and China where it is being used on an experimental basis still.
Countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Japan have also included it in their COVID-19 therapeutic management guidelines.
We are now looking forward to its global use to increase the recovery rate. After having gone through this prolonged hiatus due to the pandemic, people are eagerly waiting for some sort of a solution so that they can at least get back the confidence to resume their normal lives again.
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