Singapore OKs molnupiravir for COVID-19 treatment
The drug is the second oral antiviral medicine authorised for COVID-19 treatment.
The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) granted interim authorisation for molnupiravir or Merck Sharp & Dohme’s (MSD), lagevrio, for treatment of COVID-19, the second oral antiviral medicine to receive approval.
The drug was approved after consultation with its Medicines Advisory Committee, HSA said.
As per the Ministry of Health’s orders, the drug will be prescribed and prioritised to those diagnosed with a higher risk of severe COVID-19.
Whilst study results showed that molnupiravir has lower efficacy than other authorised treatments, HSA said it may have a place in therapy for patients who are at risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and in whom current available treatment options are clinically inappropriate.
HSA also warned that molnupiravir is not advised for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and those aged below 18 years old.
Meanwhile, HSA said common side effects of molnupiravir include diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness, which were generally mild in intensity.
Paxlovid was the first oral tablet granted by HSA to be used as a treatment for COVID-19.