Efficacy of Favipiravir in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate COVID-19 Patients in Erbil: A Controlled Clinical Trial
Keywords:COVID-19, Favipiravir, Oral antiviral agent, SARS-CoV-2, Treatment efficacy
Background and objectives: Favipiravir (FAV) is considered to have potential efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We aimed to explore the efficacy of favipiravir in the treatment of mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 pneumonia. Methods: 250 patients of mild and moderate COVID-19 patients confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were included from 22nd of June 2020 till 25th of October 2021, aged 18 to 90 years, 125 patients received FAV 3200 mg on day 1 followed by 600 mg twice daily (from day 2 –day 10). In another group, 125 patients did not receive favipiravir (SOC, standard of care group). They received paracetamol, vitamins D, and C plus Zinc, and azithromycin within the first 10 days of symptoms’ onset. In both groups, the patients were monitored for clinical recovery on the 5th,10th, 15th days and after one month of receiving the therapeutic trials. Patients were enrolled from Rizgari Teaching Hospital, and from an outpatient respiratory private clinic. Both arms were comparable as regards demographic characteristics, severity, and comorbidities. It was a non-randomized –controlled trial. Results: On day five, the rate of clinical improvement in the FAV group (74.4%) was significantly (p < 0.001) higher than the rate in the SOC group (12.8%). On day 10, the mentioned rate was 88.8% in the FAV group compared with 47.2% in the SOC group (p < 0.001). The median time of clinical recovery was 6.5 days in the FAV group vs. 10.5 days in the SOC group. The rate of hospitalization in the FAV group was 11.2% compared with 28% in the SOC group. (P < 0.001). None of the patients of the FAV group died within 30 days, compared with 13.6% of patients in the SOC group. Conclusions: Favipiravir was superior to the SOC in shortening the time to clinical improvement in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. As well as in decreasing the hospitalization rate, and mortality rate within the first month post-infection.
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