Favipiravir not very effective against severe Covid, says lung specialist
The anti-viral medication, Favipiravir, may not offer much protection to Covid-19 patients in the high-risk group, a respiratory specialist warned on Saturday.
In a Facebook post, Dr Manoon Leechawengongs pointed out that the elderly have a high chance of developing pneumonia if they contract the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Often, he said, elderly patients end up in intensive care attached to breathing apparatus, especially if they have not received a booster vaccine.
He suggested that patients in the high-risk group should be prescribed medicines that are more efficient, such as Molnupiravir or Paxlovid within the first five days of the infection.
There is evidence that these two anti-viral medicines can block serious symptoms and even death, while there is no such evidence for Favipiravir, the specialist said.
Manoon cited an 85-year-old male patient as an example. He said this patient had broken his hip bone and was bedridden. He suffered from hypertension and enlarged prostate.
He went for a health check-up on March 12 and was found to be healthy. However, upon learning that the patient had not had a single Covid-19 jab, his doctor urged him to get one immediately. So, the patient’s daughter arranged for him to get his first AstraZeneca jab on March 18.
On March 24, his daughter tested positive for Covid-19 and soon after, her father began developing symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose.
On March 26, he tested positive for Covid-19 and a hospital nearby sent him a Favipiravir prescription for five days. However, his symptoms did not improve and he was admitted to intensive care.
On March 31, he was hooked up to a tracheal tube and prescribed Remdesivir. But his condition kept worsening and his blood pressure dropped. He died on April 4 from acute kidney problems.
Manoon said this patient would have survived if he had been vaccinated sooner and given more effective anti-viral medicines.