The flu drug favipiravir has proven promise in stopping the coronavirus an infection in rodents when administered in excessive doses, says a research. Further analysis should decide whether or not people can tolerate a excessive dose of favipiravir, favipiravir — a broad-spectrum antiviral drug used in Japan to deal with influenza — for 4 to 5 days.
“Because we administered the drug shortly before exposing the hamsters to the virus, we could establish that the medicine can also be used prophylactically, so in prevention,” stated Suzanne Kaptein from Rega Institute for Medical Research at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium.
“If further research shows that the results are the same in humans, the drug could be used right after someone from a high-risk group has come into contact with an infected person. It may likely also be active during the early stages of the disease.”
General preventive use might be not an possibility, nonetheless, as a result of it’s not recognized whether or not long-term use, particularly at a excessive dose, has uncomfortable side effects.
“In the hamsters, we detected hardly any side effects,” stated Leen Delang from KU Leuven.
The researchers used hamsters for the research because the rodents are significantly appropriate for SARS-CoV-2 analysis as a result of the virus replicates itself strongly in hamsters after an infection. Moreover, hamsters develop a lung pathology just like delicate Covid-19 in people. This just isn’t the case with mice, for instance.
For this research, revealed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the crew gave the hamsters both hydroxychloroquine or favipiravir for 4 to 5 days.
They examined a number of doses of favipiravir. The hamsters had been contaminated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in two methods: by inserting a excessive dose of virus instantly into their noses or by placing a wholesome hamster in a cage with an contaminated hamster.
Drug remedy was began one hour earlier than the direct an infection or someday earlier than the publicity to an contaminated hamster.
Four days after an infection or publicity, the researchers measured how a lot of the virus was current in the hamsters.
Treatment with hydroxychloroquine had no influence: the virus ranges didn’t lower and the hamsters had been nonetheless infectious.
“Despite the lack of clear evidence in animal models or clinical studies, many COVID-19 patients have already been treated with hydroxychloroquine,” defined Joana Rocha-Pereira from KU Leuven.
“Based on these results and the results of other teams, we advise against further exploring the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment against Covid-19.”
A excessive dose of favipiravir, nonetheless, had a potent impact. A couple of days after the an infection, the virologists detected hardly any infectious virus particles in the hamsters that acquired this dose and that had been contaminated intranasally, stated the research.
Moreover, hamsters that had been in a cage with an contaminated hamster and had been given the drug didn’t develop an apparent an infection.
Those that had not acquired the drug all turned contaminated after having shared a cage with an contaminated hamster.
A low dose of the drug favipiravir didn’t have this end result.