Oral Medication for coronavirus or corona pills
The covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected people’s immune systems. So, taking into consideration scientists were undergoing different trials of oral medication through which they can reduce the risk of hospitalization and even reduce the number of deaths.
Two types of oral medication have been introduced over a month named “Corona pills” and are capable to treat corona variants. It would be the game changer pills if it could work as claimed by the scientists in the press release.
Corona Pills would be proved to be much cheap to manufacture as said by Charles Gore, (who is the executive director of the Medicines at Patent pool, Geneva Based organization) as compared to previous medications at Hospital options.
Molnupiravir is the First oral antiviral drug that was approved by the United Kingdom. Molnupiravir, developed by Merck in Kenilworth, Florida, after a month the other drug (Paxlovid) against virus was approved. It reduced hospitalization risk by 50% and was administered to the patients at the initial stages of Covid-19.
Molnupiravir antiviral also called mutagenic ribonucleosides whose function is to change the viral genome and induce errors to prevent replication followed by transcription of viral genetic material.
Mechanism of Action
Molnupiravir, inside the host cell, is converted into Molnupiravir triphosphate. The replication of the virus is inhibited by the Molnupiravir triphosphate as it is incorporated in the RNA instead of nucleoside cytidine which results in mutation. With the help of this mechanism, the virus could not replicate or do not take the control of host machinery which will lead to the reduction in the severity of the disease.
The advantage of Molnupiravir is that only 1 oral tablet a person can take rather than other clinical procedures but the cost is around $700 per person for a 5-day course, it is more affordable, the limitation is only its cost.
Ritonavir (Paxlovid) is another oral antiviral candidate which is investigated in a randomized, double-blind EPIC-HR (Evaluation of Protease Inhibition for Covid-19 in High-Risk patients) study in an interim analysis of the phase 2/3 EPIC-HR study by Pfizer Company in the New York City of United Kingdom.
However, an Antiretroviral medication is used traditionally to treat HIV. Its treatment disrupts the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the body by binding to 3CL- like protease, which is crucial for the function and replication of the virus.
The scheduled interim analysis has shown that people with Ritonavir (if authorized) to use at home will have reduced 89% of the risk of severity of Covid-19 in infected patients. Moreover, it will further prevent the transmission ability of viruses. Surprisingly the novel antiviral candidate has been proved to be effective against multiple antiviral infections as reported by Pfizer.
Albert Bourla (DVM, Ph.D., chairman, and CEO of Pfizer), said: in a press release, “All the data provided by Pfizer Company strongly suggests that the oral antiviral candidate if authorized by regulatory authorities than it will save the lives of the patients which are at risk to possess covid symptoms, reduce the severity of Covide-19 variants as well as can eliminate 9/10 hospitalizations.
This medication will be administered to the patient as soon as possible when he/she is reported positive for the coronavirus.
Remdesivir is another drug, administered intravenously that after reacting with an enzyme considered as a treatment of Covid-19.
FDA has approved to administer this drug but WHO does not recommend using this drug due to lack of evidence to treat covid-19. It was recommended to give the drugs at the initial phase of the disease, sooner the infection occurs. Till now! press releases, the major aspects of drugs are still missing but scientists are working on it.
Coronavirus will get resistant to drugs or not?
Told by Pfizer company in a press release, the drugs will be much effective for coronavirus, especially for the delta/omicron variants. The basic work that Corona Pills will do is to stop the virus to replicate and to prevent the spike protein from further causing its mutation.
The thought of concern was that as said by Mellor: “No doubt oral medication is as effective for coronavirus variants Delta, Beta variants but the possibility is that the Molnupiravir could generate another corona variant due to its mutation causing susceptibility”. Although the chances that multiple mutations in the virus will enhance its transmission ability is “low”.
Another important factor regarding corona medication is if a person is not treated with the above medication, then what will be the next step for those patients, as a result, if the virus will get resistant against these medications, then what other alternate method will be used to treat the viral infection?
To whom oral medication will be administered?
An agreement has been signed between Merck and the company Medicines Patent pool along with Pfizer which will provide the medication to developing countries but another hurdle to provide is that before administering medication it should be made sure that the person is having covid-19 rather than influenza as mostly the symptoms are same and a bundle of samples would be required for this purpose.
On the other hand, the wealthy countries have already ordered a huge amount of oral medication for their people and paying a lot of money to treat the viral infection via drugs in a single dosage administration.
Vaccines or Oral medication
Now another point is raised, does vaccinate people can be directed oral medication, or what will be the side effects or outcomes of vaccines with oral medication although this has been another queries upon which scientists are working whether vaccines will further provide immunity or only medication will be suitable for the virus-infected people, where will the vaccines go, is still under consideration.
Lastly, only the thing to be the foremost importance is that patients will be treated effectively as it reduces the transmission ability of the virus and its mutation in the spike protein, by administration of oral medication but still many more cores are undiscovered!
Reference and Sources
- Antiviral Drugs
- Anti protozoan Drugs
- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy: History, Characteristics and Tests
- Fermentation: Introduction and its Types
- Beta Variant: Introduction, Symptoms, Vaccines and Prevention
- Vaccines: Definition, Types & Functions
- Pneumocystis Pneumonia: Symptoms, Causative Agent, Pathogenesis, Treatment and prevention