COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Corona Virus. It is a type of RNA virus that causes infection in the respiratory tract. According to a Chinese study, the virus has developed 2 types of strains until now.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
•loss of taste or smell
The virus can lead to pneumonia respiratory failure, septic shock, and death.
The treatment protocols for coronavirus are being revised from time to time based on emerging evidences. As COVID-19 is a new and emerging disease, there is no specific treatment or vaccine available for it. The patients are being treated by drugs that were already available for various other ailments.
At least five medicines have either been given a go-ahead from the government to treat coronavirus infected patients in India or are in the final stages of the trial being carried out. India has also been using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an antimalarial drug, for treating COVID patients. Two Indian firms, Ipca Laboratories and Zydus Cadila Ltd, are the world’s largest manufacturers of the drug.
Another drug that is being used to treat the disease is Remdesivir sold under the brand name Covifor by Hetero in India. It has been granted approval by the Drug Controller General of India( DGCI) for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in adults and children, hospitalized with severe symptoms of the disease. Covifor (Remdesivir) will be available in 100 mg vial (injectable) which has to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner. Cipla has also launched its own remedesivir under the name of Cipremi. The drug is most effective for those who need oxygen support.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a research-led pharmaceutical company, received the approval for manufacturing and marketing Favipiravir, an antiviral drug to be used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, from the DCGI on Friday, 19 June 2020. After this approval, Favipiravir has become the first approved oral medication for the treatment of COVID-19 in India. The drug will be available by the name Fabi flu and is priced at Rs 103 per tablet. The drug should only be taken after medical consultation.
Here are some things you should know about the first approved oral COVID-19 drug in India-
• It is a generic version of Avigan, a Japanese medicine which is basically an anti-influenza drug.
• The recommended dose is 1800 mg twice daily on the first day of medication, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14.
• There isn’t enough data to talk about the efficacy of the drug yet, but Dr. Rommel Tickoo, Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, said the drug could be a “potential game-changer”, as it can be given in tablet form and is easy to administer and also relatively inexpensive.
• It can be given to patients with co-morbid conditions like diabetes and heart disorders with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
• Reports show a rapid reduction in viral load within four days and provide faster symptomatic relief.
• Favipiravir offers broad-spectrum RNA virus treatment with improvement noted in a wide range of age groups.
Indian doctors have also been successfully using Methylprednisolone in handling moderate to severe cases of the disease. It reduces its overall mortality and is a more essential part of the treatment regimen. It works by reducing the severity of the symptoms.
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