Hi, I’m Dr. Jeffrey Mark. Today I’d like to talk to you about another drug that is taken orally that can protect against serious consequences of COVID infection. This drug comes from Pfizer, and it’s very similar to a drug that we had talked about before which is Molnupiravir. This one is called Paxlovid and Paxlovid has been shown in a recent study that’s not been verified by third party, that it reduced hospitalization or death by 89% when given within three days of the onset of symptoms. This means that if you get symptoms and you’re verified to have COVID-19 if you take this oral medication, then your risk is cut by 89% for hospitalization or death, so what’s in Paxlovid is actually two different drugs. There’s an HIV drug called ritonavir, which is a capsule and an experimental drug PF 07321332. Both of these components are protease inhibitors, which means that they block a viral enzyme which is protease. And because this enzyme gets blocked the virus in this case cannot replicate or make copies of itself. So what happens with the ritonavir is that it is being used as a decoy for the body to break down first to allow for the PF 07321332 molecules to get into the cells, especially the infected cells and block the replication or duplication of the virus. So the trial included 1219 high risk adults with COVID that were not in the hospital. And each person had at least one underlying medical condition that was associated with a higher risk for hospitalization. One group received treatment and the other was a placebo group that did not receive treatment. And as I mentioned, the results showed a reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%. In the group that we see the Paxlovid versus the placebo group there were no deaths reported in the Paxlovid group and this was compared with 10 deaths in the placebo group or those that did not receive the Paxlovid. The side effects were similar for both groups and generally very mild. So with this promising initial phase 2 early phase three studies, the company was recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use approval, and they are going to be submitting the data for that approval. So this is another drug that potentially can help in terms of COVID once infection occurs. The Molnupiravir, which we’ve talked about from Merck, needs to be taken within five days of being infected with COVID and many times one does not know if they’re infected early on, so that it would be more useful for people that are routinely being tested every day every other day. With the Paxlovid, details are still forthcoming but if this were available, and effective within three days of the start of getting symptoms that may be more realistically useful especially if its higher rate of protection. 89% effect can be verified. Of course, keeping your immune system healthy and optimal is the ideal way for staying healthy and protecting yourself against serious COVID consequences or effects such as serious illness and hospitalization. A combination of lifestyle changes with exercise, especially aerobic exercise utilizing your lungs to increase superoxide dismutase greatly helps; having enough antioxidants and nutrients including glutathione and acetyl cysteine., and having enough of the proper vitamins such as vitamin D to keep your immune system optimal are the most essential things involved in immune health.
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