Favipiravir is an antiviral drug used to treat several types of influenza viruses, such as influenza A, which causes bird and swine flu, influenza B, and influenza C. Favipravir is only used if other antiviral drugs are ineffective or a new influenza virus appears.
Favipiravir works against RNA viruses by inhibiting the viral polymerase enzyme. The polymerase enzyme is needed by the virus to reproduce itself. By inhibiting this enzyme, the growth of viruses in the body can be inhibited, so that the immune system can fight viruses more optimally.
COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is also an RNA virus. So far, however, favipiravir has shown no significant benefit in treating COVID 19 . This drug is also no longer recommended by WHO as part of the treatment of COVID-19.
Favipiravir trademarks: Avigan, Covigon, Fapivell, Favigen, Favikal, Faviscan, Favipiravir, L-Vir
What is Favipiravir
|Benefit||Overcome influenza virus infection|
|Favipiravir for pregnant and lactating women||Category X: Studies in animal and human studies have demonstrated fetal abnormalities or a risk to the fetus. Drugs in this category should not be used by women who are or may become pregnant. It is not known whether Favipiravir is absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.|
Precautions Before Using Favipiravir
Favipiravir should not be used carelessly. Pay attention to the following:
- Do not use favipiravir if you have a history of allergies to this drug. Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had or are currently suffering from gout , diabetes, liver disease, mental disorders , tuberculosis, asthma, and hepatitis .
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
- Men and women who are still of childbearing age are required to use contraception when having sex while undergoing treatment with favipiravir for up to 7 days after treatment is finished. This aims to prevent defects in the fetus due to side effects of the drug favipiravir, if pregnancy occurs.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, including supplements and herbal products, in case of drug interactions.
- Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or overdose after using favipiravir.
Dosage and Rules for Use of Favipiravir
The dose of favipiravir to treat influenza virus infection in adults is 1,600 mg, 2 times a day, on the first day, followed by 600 mg, 2 times a day, on days 2 to 5. Treatment is carried out for 5 days.
How to Use Favipiravir Properly
Favipiravir can only be used as directed by a doctor. Read the information on the drug packaging and follow the instructions given by the doctor.
Do not add or reduce the dose, and do not use the drug for longer than the recommended time. Make sure there is sufficient distance between one dose and the next. It is recommended to take favipiravir at the same time every day.
Store favipiravir in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep this medicine out of reach of children.
Favipiravir Interactions with Other Drugs
Interactions that can occur if favipiravir is used together with certain drugs include:
- Increased uric acid levels when used together with pyrazinamide
- Increased risk of side effects of repaglinide drugs, such as hypoglycemia
- Increased levels and risk of side effects of favipiravir when used with theophylline
- Decreased effectiveness of famciclovir or sulindac drugs
Favipiravir Side Effects and Dangers
It is not known exactly what side effects favipiravir can cause. However, in several current studies, it is stated that favipiravir can cause side effects in the form of:
- Increased uric acid levels (hyperuricemia)
- Liver disfunction
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in behavior, such as confusion, running away, or wandering
See your doctor right away if you experience these side effects or if you have an allergic reaction to a drug, such as an itchy rash on the skin, swelling of the lips and eyelids, or difficulty breathing.