What are the antiviral pills that look the most promising?
Molnupiravir: (Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics)
This medication works by interfering with the COVID virus’s ability to replicate – make more of themselves within a person’s body. But to be effective, the patient needs to take this medication within the first 5 days of experiencing symptoms (news article).
In October 2021, promising study results about a new oral antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19 were released (Harvard Article).
Compared to placebo (sugar pills), this antiviral drug significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization and death in people with mild or moderate COVID-19 who were at high risk for severe COVID (Harvard Article).
Patients taking molnupiravir were 50% less likely to be hospitalized or die compared to those taking a placebo. Only 7.3% of participants taking Molnupiravir were hospitalized and on this medication died in this trial (read more about the study here).
Molnupiravir is under review by the FDA, which is set to meet in late November to discuss whether the drug should be granted emergency use authorization (Harvard Article).