Since the end of 2019, we are living in a completely changed world because of the advent of the novel Coronavirus and one and a half years later, we are still under its grip. The USA hit an all-time high this month and reached more than 700 000 Covid-19 related deaths. Even though several vaccines are on the market right now that are flattening the curve, they are still not 100% efficient against the virus and even less so against new variants like the Delta variant, which was first identified in India. Thankfully, with the help of new pharmaceutical companies, a pill that could flatten the curve in terms of death and hospitalization is now on the horizon.
The emerging company of this antiviral drug
It was developed by Merck and Co. This experimental pill that could halve the number of deaths and hospitalizations is now being tested and the company will soon start seeking US approval for its fabrication and distribution. It is the first oral antiviral pill that was found to be effective against the new strand of this Coronavirus. Though the White House still argues that vaccines are the best tool against the virus by far, this new pill, if it’s proven to work, can be a real game-changer.
Molnupiravir: the god-sent pill.
Also known as Mjölnir- the name of Thor’s hammer in the Avenger and the Norse god. With 775 volunteers in the US and overseas, the pills were proven more effective than not using anything. Out of those who were given the Molnupiravir pill, 7 percent were hospitalized, and none of them died due to Covid-related issues. While in the group that was given the placebo drug (that has no therapeutic effect), the number doubled with a rate of 14% hospitalization and 8 deaths within one month of the pill being administered. Both groups reported mild side effects like headaches. Unlike vaccines, these antiviral pills can reach more people and lower-income countries where the vaccination rates are still low.
All the volunteers in the Merck trials had to be unvaccinated and had to be at high risk of bad income from Covid, and they had to develop symptoms within the past five days to be selected for the trial. However, it wasn’t disclosed whether or to what degree the drug was more or less effective, depending on when the trials started. The goal is for someone to start taking the pill within 24 hours of showing any symptoms and/or testing positive.
How does it work?
This pill was designed to stop the virus by inserting errors into its genetic code. It inserts RNA-like building blocks into the virus’ genome and, as it multiples, the pill creates several mutations in the virus that disrupts its duplication pattern and eventually kills it before it can cause severe damage to one’s immune system. The more it replicates, the more cells it kills and the sicker the person gets, and in the case of an immunocompromised person, this could lead to death or severe complications. This is why the best time to take the pill is within 24 hours of showing any symptoms. Four pills are meant to be taken twice a day for a period of 5 days. This means that you have to take a total of 40 pills throughout the treatment for it to work effectively.
Though the drug hasn’t been approved FDA yet, but it is the light at the end of the tunnel that most of us were looking for. Sound off in the comments section below if you think that these pills might be the things that reverse the wave of Covid death and contamination.