Bhubaneswar: Odisha government’s Technical Advisor on COVID-19, Dr Jayant Panda on Monday said that the patients in home isolation can now get the antiviral drug, Favipiravir. The distribution of the drug will start in three cities- Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri.
He said that if Favipiravir is taken in the initial stage of a patient developing symptoms, the viral load can reduce significantly and his/health condition will improve subsequently. On the use of Favipiravir, Panda said the tablets will be given to COVID-19 patients for five days. However, it will not be given to asymptomatic patients, pregnant women and children.
Panda, who is also the HoD of Internal Medicine at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, advised to consult doctor in case one develops any side-effects like diarrhoea or stomach ache after taking the drug.
On Favipiravir dosage, Dr Sampad Das said that on the first day, a patient is given nine tablets each in the morning and evening while two doses of four tablets each are given on the second, third and the fourth day.
Das further advised not to consume alcohol while taking the drug and said that COVID-19 patients can take other medicines (if they are already taking for any other disease) along with Favipiravir.
How to use Favipiravir
1. Take this medicine in the dose and duration only as advised.
2. Swallow it as a whole. Do not chew, crush or break it. Favipiravir Tablet may be taken with or without food, but it is better to take it at a fixed time.
Day-1: 1800 mg twice daily
Day-2 to Day 5: 800 mg twice daily
Note: The tablets to be taken by mouth after food.
4. Persons above the age of 60 years always keep your doctor informed about the side effects of the drug if you suspect any.
Common side effects of Favipiravir
• Increased uric acid level in blood
• Diarrhea • Decreased white blood cell count (neutrophils)
• Increased liver enzymes
Most side effects do not require any medical attention and disappear as your body adjusts to the medicine. Consult your doctor if they persist or if you're worried about them
• It is not known whether it is safe to consume alcohol with Favipiravir Tablet, it is better to avoid.
• It is not known whether Favipiravir Tablet alters the ability to drive. Do not drive if you experience any symptoms that affect your ability to concentrate and react.