Germany: Pills recommended for coronavirus treatment

Paxlovid is the first oral antiviral drug recommended in the European Union for the treatment of COVID-19.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended that Pfizer be granted conditional approval for use in the European Union of the COVID-19 pill Paxlovid. This is stated in the statement of the regulator, published on Thursday, January 27. Paxlovid is the first oral antiviral drug recommended in the EU for the treatment of COVID-19.

As indicated by the EMA, these tablets are recommended for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of disease complications. The principle of action of the drug is that its active ingredient nirmatrelvir inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 protein and thus prevents the virus from multiplying. Possible side effects of Paxlovid include loss of taste, diarrhea, increased blood pressure, and muscle pain. In addition, the drug may interfere with the way other drugs work, the EMA warns.

Participants in the drug trials took Paxlovid or a placebo for 5 days after they started showing symptoms of the coronavirus. The patients were not treated with antibodies. Within a month of treatment, 0.8% (8 out of 1,039) of patients treated with Paxlovid were hospitalized for more than 24 hours. Among patients receiving placebo, this figure was 6.3% (66 out of 1,046 people). At the same time, there were no deaths in the group of patients taking Paxlovid, and 9 deaths were recorded in the placebo group.

European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides welcomed the EMA’s recommendation. Paxlovid pills can “make a real difference in alleviating the effects of covid,” she said.

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