January 25, 2022

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

ICMR reiterates concerns on Molnupiravir use in Covid treatment

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ICMR reiterates concerns on Molnupiravir use in Covid treatment
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ICMR reiterates concerns on Molnupiravir use in Covid treatment
ICMR reiterates concerns on Molnupiravir use in Covid treatment

NEW DELHI: Use of anti-viral drug Molnupiravir has risks that warrant caution, health officials said underlining serious concerns about rampant, irrational and overuse of medicines in Covid-19 treatment.
“We had extensive discussions among national experts and reviewed whatever data was available from three trials– one on 1433 patients in the US; one which was prematurely terminated for business reasons and another that is ongoing. There are 12 clinical trials that are registered on the clinical trial registry of India, which are starting or about to start. The final conclusions are that Molnupiravir has certain risks that warrant caution in its use. Experts present at the meeting opined that there is a rampant and irrational use of the pill. Efforts should be made to restrict its use as known and unknown harms far outweigh its claimed benefit,” Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Balram Bhargava said.
“Currently available synthesized evidence was reviewed and members unanimously agreed that the medicine does not merit inclusion in the national Covid treatment guidelines,” he added.
The drug is currently not part of national treatment protocol prescribed by the Centre, even as it has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India.
Officials maintained that emerging and evolving evidence is constantly being reviewed and will dictate decisions in the future.
This is the second time in a week that ICMR chief has warned against the use of the medicine that is currently being prescribed by many doctors to patients under home isolation or treatment.
Last week, ICMR had pointed out serious concerns with the use of the drug in children, pregnant and lactating women and those in reproductive age. Bhargava had said that use of molnupiravir can cause teratogenicity, mutagenicity, and it can also cause cartilage damage and can also be damaging to muscles. More importantly, if this drug is given to a man or a woman, contraception has to be used for three months, as the child conceived during that period may have problems with teratogenic influences.
Teratogenicity is the ability to cause defects in a developing foetus, whereas mutagenicity refers to permanent transmissible changes in the structure of genetic material of cells.
In India, the national task force experts have for the third time unanimously rejected the inclusion of the drug in the Indian Covid-19 treatment guidelines.
While the pill has been approved in the UK and Denmark, it has not made to the Covid treatment guidelines there also.
Urging the medical fraternity against over-prescription of medicines, officials said rampant use of medicines can lead to complication as well as medical cost.
“The repertoire of drugs or medicines that are required are limited and these are ones that have support of science and evidence as of today. Tomorrow something new comes, it will be added or dropped. Please have faith and we would request our medical fraternity to please follow the rational guideline. Please do not overdo. The synthesis of what is best for us is on our treatment protocol,” NITI Aayog member-health VK Paul said. Paul also cited how irrational use of steroid led to high incidence of mucormycosis during the second surge and urged people to use medicines only when required.

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