Molnupiravir

The UK medicines regulator has approved a new medicine to help people who catch the Covid-19 virus and are at risk of being very ill. The medicine, called Molnupiravir, attacks the virus itself and helps stop the virus spreading inside the body. This medicine is potentially really good news for people who are at risk of being critically ill with Covid-19.

It’s important to realise that this new medicine will be given only to clinically vulnerable people who become ill with Covid-19. It is not licenced for giving to anyone who does not have at least one ‘risk factor’ which makes them more clinically vulnerable to Covid-19. Groups which are more clinically vulnerable include older people, people with certain long-term health conditions and people who are genetically more likely to be ill with Covid-19.

Molnupiravir is not going to be given to everyone who catches Covid-19, and it does not make it safer or safe to catch Covid-19. Everyone should still take precautions to avoid catching Covid-19 in the first place.

Although Molnupiravir has been approved for use in the UK, and an order has been placed for the medicine, the NHS has not yet actually received any supplies of the medicine. The NHS expects to have supplies later in November. The order placed so far is only for a relatively small amount of Molnupiravir, so it looks as if the NHS is not expecting to give it to many patients.

There is lots of false information about Molnupiravir on the Internet and social media, so be careful if you search for it. There are some reliable links below. A lot of this false information is about Invermectin, a medicine mainly used to treat worm infections in humans which can sometimes have a mild anti-viral effect. To be clear, Molnupiravir is not the same drug as Invermectin and has no connection whatsoever to Invermectin. The two medicines work in completely different ways. There is in fact no scientific evidence that Invermectin is an effective treatment for Covid-19. You can read fact-checked information about Invermectin at this link https://fullfact.org/health/ivermectin-covid-treatment/

You can get reliable information about Molnupiravir at these links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-oral-antiviral-for-covid-19-lagevrio-molnupiravir-approved-by-mhra

https://www.merck.com/news/merck-and-ridgebacks-molnupiravir-an-oral-covid-19-antiviral-medicine-recieves-first-authorization-in-the-world/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-59163899

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