Updated: January 18, 2022 7:25:16 am
ADDITIONAL CHIEF Secretary of Maharashtra Health Department, Dr Pradeep Vyas, on Monday sent a letter to district administrations about the usage of tablet Molnupiravir for treating Covid-19 “with abundant caution in certain conditions”.
The letter says that patients under the age of 18 and pregnant women should not be given Molnupiravir. lt also should be avoided in women of reproductive age group.
“lf it is decided to be given in this age group, then females of child-bearing potential are advised to use a reliable method of birth control correctly and consistently during treatment with Molnupiravir and for three months after the final dose. Males with reproductive potential who are sexually active with females of child-bearing potential are advised to use a reliable method of birth control correctly and consistently during treatment with Molnupiravir, and for at least three months after the final dose as Molnupiravir will affect sperm cells,” stated the letter from Vyas.
The biggest concern with Molnupiravir is potential adverse effects such as induced mutations on reproductive cells, like male and female gametes. Secondly, fast dividing cells may cause mutations in bone and cartilages, said the letter. Molnupiravir, when taken in sub-optimal doses, is also likely to cause sub-lethal mutations and perpetuate further variants. Hence, it is important to take the full course once the medicine is started, said Vyas in the letter.
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The letter has been sent to all district collectors, divisional commissioners, municipal commissioners and chief executive officers of various districts. Vyas has mentioned how certain state governments like Odisha have withdrawn this drug from the market. ICMR has also not recommended its use in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Vyas has said that Molnupiravir has not been included in the standard treatment protocol released by the government of lndia on January 17 this year. Molnupiravir has been shown to reduce hospitalisation in a clinical trial and thus has received Emergency Use Authorisation, not an FDA approval, the letter said.
“Till further clarity is received, you are requested to please use Molnupiravir with abundant caution and in certain conditions, and that also in full advised dose,” the letter stated.
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