Up-to-date ‘Living Guide’ on relevant therapies now includes conditional recommendations on the drug, molnupiravir, UN agency announced on Thursday.
These are usually people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, the elderly, people who are immunocompromised, and people living with chronic illnesses.
Recommended for pregnant and lactating women
WHO also recommends that children, pregnant and lactating women should not use the drug, adding that those taking molnupiravir should have a birth control plan.
The health system must ensure access to pregnancy testing and point-of-care contraceptives.
According to Press Releaseunder the care of a healthcare provider, the oral tablet is taken as four tablets (800 mg total) twice daily for five days, within five days of symptom onset.
“Used as soon as possible after infection, it can help prevent hospitalization,” said the United Nations health agency.
New data from trials
The recommendation is based on new data from six randomized controlled trials involving 4,796 patients – the largest data set for the drug to date, according to WHO.
Along with the proposal for molnupiravir, the ninth update of WHO’s motto of life about treatments also includes more information about casirivimab-imdevimab, a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies.
The drug is not effective against the Omicron . variant
Based on the evidence that “this combination of drugs is not effective for the Omicron variant of interest,“The United Nations health agency currently recommends that it be given only when the infection is caused by another variant.
The press release also states that although molnupiravir is not widely available, steps have been taken to increase access, including signing voluntary licensing agreement.