The COVID-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc worldwide for more than two years now, so there is an urgent need for effective treatments. The good news is that several antiviral drugs are now available that have been shown to work effectively as covid positive treatment. Two of these treatments are Paxlovid and Molnupiravir. Read on to learn more about these drugs.
Paxlovid: An Overview
It is an antiviral drug developed by Pfizer in collaboration with the biotech company Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. FDA granted the drug emergency use authorization in November 2021.
The active ingredients in it are nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. Nirmatrelvir is a protease inhibitor that blocks an enzyme the virus needs to replicate. Ritonavir is another protease inhibitor that has been used to treat HIV.
The FDA based its emergency use authorization of Paxlovid on the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving many participants. The test showed that it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by an impressive margin in high-risk patients who received the drug within three days of symptom onset.
Molnupiravir: An Overview
It is an oral antiviral drug developed by Merck in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The FDA granted the drug emergency use authorization in December 2021.
The active ingredient in this drug is Molnupiravir itself. It works by introducing errors into the virus’s genetic material, which prevents it from replicating.
The FDA based its emergency use authorization of Molnupiravir on the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that involved many participants. The test showed that Molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death considerably in high-risk patients who received the drug within five days of symptom onset.
How do these treatments work?
Paxlovid and Molupiravir are two antiviral drugs recently gaining attention as potential treatments for COVID-19. Paxlovid contains two drugs, Nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, that work together to inhibit an enzyme called the main protease (Mpro) that the SARS-CoV-2 virus needs to replicate.
By blocking this enzyme, Paxlovid can reduce the amount of virus in the body and improve symptoms of COVID-19. Molupiravir, on the other hand, works by introducing errors into the virus’s genetic material, which can prevent it from reproducing effectively. This can lead to a decrease in viral load and potentially reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
Both drugs are taken twice a day for five days. Currently, they are being studied in clinical trials and have shown promising results in early studies.
Comparison of Paxlovid and Molnupiravir
A key difference is in their mechanism of action. Paxlovid decreases the disease’s risk by almost 90%, whereas the other decreases the risk by mostly 50%. Hence, Molnupiravir works less effectively than the first one but works wonders for Covid-positive patients with previous medical conditions. Cost is also a factor, as the wholesale cost of Paxlovid is around $530 per course of treatment, while the wholesale cost of Molnupiravir is approximately $700.
In conclusion, developing covid positive treatment for COVID-19 is critical to combat the ongoing pandemic, and Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are the two promising treatments that have emerged. Both drugs have shown efficacy in reducing hospitalization and death rates in COVID-19 patients and have been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA.