Molnupiravir should not be given to people of reproductive age: NTAGI Chairman
New Delhi, Jan 11: Chairman of Covid-19 Working Group of NTAGI Dr NK Arora on Tuesday said Molnupiravir, an anti-viral Covid-19 pill, should not be given to people of the reproductive age. He also stated that irrational use of the pill can be dangerous.
"Molnupiravir, which prevents hospitalization and ICU admissions, should be given to senior citizens, particularly those with comorbidities. It should not be given to people of the reproductive age," Arora said.
"There are 3-4 sub-lineages of Omicron variant of coronavirus. These sub-lineages could be different when it comes to diagnosis but their epidemiological behaviour is same," he said.
"IIT's modelling shows COVID cases will increase rapidly in the coming days, which is, in fact, happening. COVID appropriate behaviour and vaccination coverage are two important factors to contain its spread. Administrative steps like curfews also help," he added.
Meanwhile, the ICMR's National Task Force for COVID-19 has decided against including antiviral drug Molnupiravir in the Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 as of now.
"Members of the National Task Force for COVID-19 were not in favour of including the drug in the national treatment guidelines citing that it does not have much benefit in the treatment of coronavirus infection and that there were safety concerns," an official source told PTI.
IICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava had last week said that Molnupiravir has major safety concerns. He added that WHO and the UK have not included it for treatment.
Molnupiravir is an antiviral drug that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication by viral mutagenesis. This anti-Covid pill got the Drug Regulator General of India's approval on December 28 for restricted use in emergencies.