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Favipiravir Ineffective in Halting COVID-19 Progression

A team of scientists from South Pest Central Hospital and the Semmelweis University, Hungary has evaluated the antiviral potency of favipiravir in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Favipiravir is a derivative of pyrazinecarboxamide used to treat influenza patients in Japan and is repurposed to treat COVID-19. The study was conducted on confirmed and hospitalized COVID-19 patients and was divided into two groups.

One group received favipiravir along with standard care and the other group received other antivirals like oseltamivir, remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, etc along with standard care. The scientists did not observe any statistically significant difference between the two study groups in terms of disease progression. The requirement of ventilation and the all-cause mortality rate were similar in both groups.

The patients receiving favipiravir had a higher requirement for immunomodulatory therapy. The patients receiving favipiravir stayed longer in the hospital and took a long time to get PCR-negative results than the patients receiving other antivirals. The overall study findings revealed that favipiravir is not very effective in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

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