Malaysia just approved the Pfizer PAXLOVID antiviral treatment for COVID-19!
Here is what you need to know!
Malaysia Approves Pfizer PAXLOVID Antivirals For COVID-19!
On 3 March 2022, the Malaysia Health Ministry (KKM) announced that the 370th Drug Control Authority meeting has agreed to give conditional approval to:
PAXLOVID (PF-07321332 150mg Film-Coated Tablets and Ritonavir 100mg Film-Coated Tablets)
Registrant : Pfizer (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
Manufacturer : Pfizer Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH, Germany and Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals, Ireland
Indication : COVID-19 treatment for adults age 18 years and above who do not require oxygen therapy, and are high-risk for severe COVID-19.
The Health Ministry warns that PAXLOVID is not meant to replace COVID-19 vaccination and public health measures.
Pfizer PAXLOVID : What Is It?
Pfizer PAXLOVID is an antiviral treatment that consists of two protease inhibitors :
- two 150 mg tablets of Nirmatrelvir (the new protease inhibitor developed by Pfizer)
- one 100 mg tablet of Ritonavir (an old antiviral approved in 1996)
Protease inhibitors work by binding to proteolytic enzymes used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to replicate. This prevents the virus from replicating in the infected cells, stopping the infection and preventing transmission.
Drug combinations like this offer a synergistic effect, above and beyond their individual abilities. In this combination, ritonavir helps to slow down the breakdown of nirmatrelvir, allowing it to remain in the body for a longer period at higher concentrations.
Read more : Did Cornell Name Ivermectin Most Effective Drug vs. Omicron?
PAXLOVID was first given an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the US FDA on 22 December 2021, for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and children 12 years and older.
It is meant to be taken by those who are at high-risk of developing severe COVID-19, and must be taken within 5 days of symptom onset. In addition, PAXLOVID must not be taken for more than 5 consecutive days.
The EPIC-HR trial showed that PAXLOVID is able to reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 b y 88%, compared to placebo.
Individuals who took PAXLOVID have reported side effects like impaired sense of taste, diarrhoea, high blood pressure and muscle aches.
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