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Favipiravir for the Treatment of Geriatric Patients with COVID-19

Favipiravir (FVP) is one of the repurposed drugs which has been authorized in a few countries on an emergency basis to treat COVID-19. Favipiravir is a broad-spectrum antiviral compound that effectively inhibits the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro and in animals in vivo. According to several validated reports, early favipiravir treatment reduces viral load in infected patients, thus accelerating recovery.

However, its effect on geriatric COVID-19 is not yet clear. Thus, researches attempted to analyse the outcomes in symptomatic COVID-19 patients aged above 65 years when treated with FVP.

In an comparative study, patients recieving 1600 mg twice a day (BID) on day 1 and 600 mg BID from day 2 to day 14 demonstrated viral clearance within day 4(median time). Also studies has shown that the body temperature of the favipiravir-treated patients normalized (<?37 °C) in 2 days (median time), and by 15 days, chest CT scans improved in 90% of the patients. However, adverse effects (AE) were observed during favipiravir treatment. The most common was the elevated serum uric acid (SUA) level (>?6 mg/dL for women,?>?7 mg/dL for men, and?>?5.5 mg/dL for under 18 years old children). Increased SUA level can pose risk to patients who have a history of gout, dissatisfactory kidney function, and hyperuricemia and can also be a risk factor in patients at high cardiovascular risk.

Interestingly, new options for antiviral treatment for outpatients are available, which, according to published test results, are more effective at lower doses than favipiravir. Further investigations regarding the effectiveness of different therapeutics in the elderly population should be of high priority for future research.

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