DAVAO

Espedilla: Is the drug Remdesivir a failure against Covid-19?

HUNGARY. A bottle containing the drug Remdesivir is held by a health worker at the Institute of Infectology of Kenezy Gyula Teaching Hospital of the University of Debrecen in Debrecen, Hungary, Thursday, October 15, 2020. (AP)

Meditalk

DEAR Dr. Fritz,

Call me Via. I am quite concerned because it seems that the way to treat Covid-19 is still a million miles away. I have just heard that Remdesivir is a failure for the treatment of Covid-19. How true is this?

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.

Via 2020

***

Dear Via 2020,

I have some bad news for you. The World Health Organization recommended against using Remdesivir, sold by the brand name Veklury and manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc. This was WHO's decision after a month the US regulators granted the drug a speedy approval. A panel of WHO-convened experts developing Covid-19 treatment guidelines said that "There is currently no evidence that it improves survival or the need for ventilation."

Remdesivir was said to shorten the recovery time and reduce the need for ventilators to facilitate breathing. But, lately, WHO recommended that doctors avoid using the drug.

This recommendation against Remdesivir was made after the results of a global trial sponsored by WHO, known as the Solidarity found that Remdesivir, sadly didn't reduce deaths. Moreover, the said panel also reviewed data from three other trials which also found out that the said drug has "no meaningful effect" regarding the time it took patients to improve clinically. WHO also pointed out that "The evidence suggested no important effect on mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, time to clinical improvement, and other patient-important outcomes."

The said group of experts gathered by WHO also agreed and reported that Remdesivir offers "small and uncertain benefits" and these outweighed the "possibility of important harms."

Well, at the moment, let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Good luck!

Dr. Fritz

***

(Dr. Fritz Legarde Espedilla is an aesthetic dermatologist and surgeon and a clinical sexologist. She is also trained in hypnotherapy and Medical Acupuncture. She is the co-host of digital page o Superbalita. She has been in the broadcast media for more than a decade and has written a book based on her 15 year stint with her radio program, "Healthy is Sexy Secrets ni Dr. Fritz." For your questions, you may e-mail them to dokfritz@yahoo.com. If you don't wish your letter to be published, we regret that we cannot answer them. Thank you for your understanding.)


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