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.
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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