The world’s leading medical laboratories are not only working to develop and strengthen vaccines against COVID-19, but also to create oral drug-based treatments (so far only done with intravenous doses) that can help patients with defeat the coronavirus and avoid contracting the strongest. symptoms.
These drugs, some of which are already in the trial phase, would have the capacity to offer new and better weapons to get rid of the devastating effects of this health emergency. Here are some of the products that open the door to less traumatic anticovid treatments:
Pfizer and Merck
A product originally created to fight influenza, which would be called “molnupiravir”, would have the ability to interact with the viral genome of SARS-CoV-2 during its reproduction to wreak havoc and limit its transmission. It would be prescribed as soon as possible, at the first sign of infection or when the patient is known to have been exposed to the virus.
The laboratories responsible are already carrying out studies in more than 2,000 hospitalized patients over the age of 18 with symptoms. Due to the harshness of the pandemic and the urgent need for drugs, they were allowed to complete all three phases of the trials in one step.
The example of flu treatments
For now, drugs developed for use in Covid treatments only work in cases where they are given in the early stages of the disease. A similar example is given with tamiflu, a very effective antiviral which is used to treat influenza, but it only works when ingested within the first 24 hours from when symptoms are acquired.
A replacement for vaccination?
What many people wonder is if these antiviral treatments can replace the vaccine, to which specialists say no. The new drugs can become very important and beneficial tools for those who contract COVID-19, especially when applied in the first hours of illness, but because the vaccine protects patients, mainly against the more severe symptoms. , vaccination cannot be stopped or changed at this time.
Medicines used in other pathologies
A product used in arthritis treatments, baricitin, also appears to help patients with some coronavirus cases. Being an anti-inflammatory drug, it may offer relief against the virus, but it is important to note that it cannot be given to any Covid patient indiscriminately, as its benefits only occur in certain cases.
For its part, especially in Latin America, other drugs have been administered to treat the virus, showing some success, but lacking serious and detailed studies so far, they cannot be officially considered effective. This is the case with ebastine, vitamin D3 and ivermectin, among others.
Is the end of the pandemic approaching?
Although we may think that we are on the right track and that, thanks to vaccination, there will be no more fatal cases of COVID-19, we still have a long way to go. . The appearance of new variants, coupled with the refusal of many people to inoculate and use biosecurity measures, will continue to be stones in the shoe that will delay a future surpassing of the pandemic.
The emergence of new medical treatments, including oral antivirals, is important in order to have more and better tools to deal with the health emergency. But only when countries fight with a unified strategy and a space is created in which all nations have access to available vaccines and treatments, the pandemic will not stop.