The three people from Kerala who contracted coronavirus (Covid-19) recovered without the use of any drugs, and India has adequate supply of the combination of two antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS and are being used to treat Sars-CoV-2, said a scientist at one of the labs run by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on the condition of anonymity, the Indian media reported.
The fixed dose combination of anti-HIV drugs— Lopinavir and Ritonavir — has been used with other drugs in China with varying results, but not in India yet.
“The combination has shown some promise against the virus but it doesn’t mean it will work 100% in all cases. Like others globally, we also did some computerised studies for repurposing a drug to see which among the available molecules works against the virus, and affects its replication. The Lopinavir and Ritonavir combination looked promising,” said the scientist.
The Drug Controller General of India last month approved its restricted use, keeping in view the public health emergency situation that was likely to emerge with cases rising worldwide.
“As an emergency public health measure this can be given to symptomatic patients; about two tablets a day of 400mg dosage for about 14 days is what we advise. It’s a fixed dose combination, which means a single tablet will have both the medicines. It has not been given to anyone so far in India, most patients are on supportive therapy, and stable,” the ICMR scientist added.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) last week, researchers presented a case series of 18 patients with SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore.
“Five patients who required supplemental oxygen also received lopinavir-ritonavir: three experienced a reduction in the need for supplemental oxygen within three days, while two saw their condition worsen. For all patients, the median duration of viral shedding was 12 days,” according to the research.(Hindustan Times)