New Antiviral Drug for COVID-19

New Antiviral Drug for COVID-19

 Paxlovid is a new antiviral drug currently being investigated for its potential for the treatment of COVID-19. So far, studies have shown that Paxlovid is quite effective in reducing the risk of death and hospitalization in COVID-19 patients. Paxlovid is a trademark of the combination antiviral PF-07321332 and ritonavir developed by Pfizer as a drug for COVID-19. This antiviral drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use because of its effectiveness against the Corona virus. Paxlovid is an oral drug given to COVID-19 patients with the aim of reducing the severity of the disease, hospitalization, and reducing the risk of death. Paxlovid contains a new antiviral, namely PF-07321332, which works by blocking the activity of the SARS-CoV-2-3CL enzyme. Thus, the replication or proliferation of the Corona virus can be prevented. This antiviral drug can be combined with low-dose ritonavir to keep the antiviral active in the long term, making it effective against the Corona virus in the body. Thanks to the effectiveness of Paxlovid in fighting the Corona virus, this drug has the potential to become the second oral antiviral used in the treatment of COVID-19. Previously, molnupiravir had shown good results in controlling the amount of the Corona virus.

To ensure the safety and effectiveness of the drug, it is necessary to conduct clinical trials first before being distributed to the general public. There are four phases of clinical trials that must be passed before a drug is finally approved by the appropriate safety authorities. During clinical trials, Paxlovid was administered orally every 12 hours for 5 days to people with COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms and who had at least one medical condition that could exacerbate COVID-19 infection (comorbid). This Paxlovid antiviral drug was given since the symptoms of COVID-19 appeared. Phase II/III clinical trial results show that Paxlovid is beneficial in reducing the risk of hospitalization or death in COVID-19 patients by up to 89%. Meanwhile, clinical trials so far have also shown that this drug can reduce the risk of death related to COVID-19. The benefits of this drug appear to be more effective when combined with the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Recent research has also revealed that Paxlovid is considered effective for use by elderly COVID-19 patients, COVID-19 patients with weak immunity (immunosuppression), neurological diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Because it is considered useful for treating COVID-19, Paxlovid obtained an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the United States. However, the benefits of Paxlovid as a COVID-19 drug in people who have received the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and in COVID-19 survivors have not been studied. Therefore, in general, further research is still needed to ensure the effectiveness and safety of this drug to treat COVID-19.

Paxlovid should only be consumed by patients who are confirmed positive for COVID-19, aged at least 12 years and weighing at least 40 kg. Just like other drugs, Paxlovid also has some side effects. The following are side effects that may occur when you take Paxlovid:

 • Impaired sense of taste

 • Diarrhea 

• Increased blood pressure 

• Muscle ache 

• Liver disfunction

 • In addition, Paxlovid also has the potential to increase the risk of developing antiviral drug resistance in HIV patients.

 If you are suffering from certain diseases or are taking other drugs, you should consult your doctor before taking Paxlovid to prevent drug interactions. Paxlovid is also not recommended for consumption by people with kidney disease and liver disease, as well as women who are or are planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Until now, research continues to be carried out to test the effectiveness and safety of Paxlovid, especially in certain groups, including pregnant women, children, and infants. Although the development of Paxlovid is very promising in the treatment of COVID-19, you are still encouraged to take preventive measures against COVID-19.

Always comply with health protocols by washing hands using soap or hand sanitizer, wearing masks when doing activities outside the home, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds, and completing the COVID-19 vaccine dose when you have a vaccination schedule. If you still have questions about Paxlovid and other COVID-19 treatments, talk to your doctor directly to get the right answer.

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