FAVIPIRAVIR THERAPY FOR PATIENTS WITH COVID-19 PNEUMONIA: AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY

Supawadee Suppadungsuk1 , Thananya Wongsinin1 , Sirawat Srichatrapimuk1 , Suppachok Kirdlarp1,2, Kulapong Jayanama1 , Kanin Thammavaranucupt1 , Dhanesh Pitidhammabhorn1 , Sithakom Phusanti1 , Nithita Nanthatanti1 and Somnuek Sungkanuparph1

Authors

  • Sirawat Srichatrapimuk

Keywords:

favipiravir, COVID-19, pneumonia, SARS-CoV-2, Thailand

Abstract

Pneumonia in patients with COVID-19 is sometimes severe and life-threatening, and currently there is no specific effective drug approved for COVID-19 treatment. Favipiravir is a pyrazine analog inhibiting RNA virus RNA dependent RNA polymerase with antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. An observational study was conducted in confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia patients admitted to a university hospital in Thailand on effectiveness and safety of favipiravir prescribed on a compassionate-use basis. Among COVID-19 patients with pneumonia (n = 37), 54 and 46% had severe and non-severe pneumonia, respectively. Mean ± SD age was 48 ± 3 years, 62% were male and diabetes mellitus and hypertension were the most common comorbidities. Median period from initiation of favipiravir treatment to clinical improvement of patients with severe and non-severe pneumonia was 17 days (95% confidence interval (CI): 9-25) and 9 days (95% CI: 7-11) respectively. Ninety-five percent of patients completely recovered and were discharged within 39 days following admittance; unfortunately, the remaining patients succumbed to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome and multi-organ failure. In conclusion, favipiravir holds promise as a potential drug for treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia, but a larger randomized trial is warranted to confirm its efficacy.

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Published

2021-10-14

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