On Monday, January 17, Maharashtra directed its districts and corporations to use the antiviral drug, Molnupiravir with extreme caution and only in select patients, reports stated. Interestingly, this comes on the same day that the Central Health Ministry did not include antivirals like Molnupiravir, in its treatment protocol at all.
According to accounts, the state’s additional chief secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas issued an order mentioning that the drug has only attained Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) since it has depicted reduced hospitalizations in a clinical trial, however, it does not have FDA approval.
Vyas in his letter also wrote that the ICMR hasn’t suggested it in its treatment protocol issued on Monday. He added that patients under 18 and pregnant women should not be given the said drug. Moreover, he remarked women of childbearing potential are suggested to utilize reliable means of birth control consistently during the treatment and for three months post the final Molnupiravir dose.
He also cautioned that it could affect sperm cells, thus, men should utilize reliable means of birth control. Based on reports, the state mentioned that Molnupiravir could be prescribed for those who have mild illnesses not needing oxygen, one or more risk components that will result in hospitalizations and severe diseases, along with in cases where no other options are available and in those patients where there aren’t any contraindications to the utilization of the drug.
It has been reported, that it is advised to commence the dose in the first five days of the illness and should not be taken in suboptimal doses since it could result in sublethal mutations and perpetuate further variants.