The country’s task force on Covid-19 is still deliberating whether to include Molnupiravir in the national protocol for treatment of coronavirus as the oral anti-viral drug has major safety concerns, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Wednesday

The country’s task force on Covid-19 is still deliberating whether to include Molnupiravir in the national protocol for treatment of coronavirus as the oral anti-viral drug has major safety concerns, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Wednesday.

During the weekly media briefing, ICMR director Dr Balram Bhargava said: :…we have to remember that this drug has major safety concerns. It can cause teratogenicity (fetal abnormality), mutagenicity (mutations in the virus), and also cartilage damage. It can damage muscles also.”

“Contraception will have to be done for three months for male and female if this drug is given because the child born could be problematic due to teratogenic influence,” Bhargava, who is also a part of the national Covid task force, said.

The ICMR chief’s remarks came even as companies began launching the product in the Indian market after receiving emergency use authorisation from, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, the national drugs regulator on December 28.

“Molnupiravir will now be manufactured in the country by 13 companies for restricted use under emergency situations for treatment of adult patients with COVID-19 and who have high risk of progression of the disease,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had said.


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