Why COVID sufferers in the US can’t get ensitrelvir, the antiviral drug better than Paxlovid

For people suffering from coronavirus infection, the antiviral drug paxlobid is a godsend.

The drug emerged as the go-to antiviral treatment during the pandemic emergency after the Food and Drug Administration authorized it for emergency use in December 2021.

Currently, a new antiviral drug is being developed that is better than Paxlovid, but it is not available to Americans because it is held up in the FDA’s lengthy approval process.

Enciterelvir, sold as Xocova in Japan, the only country where it is legally available, has several advantages over paxlobid.

But experts lament that newer, better drugs probably won’t be available in the U.S. until the end of 2024.

FDA appears to be ‘delaying’ approval process for ensitrevir, infectious disease specialist Dr. David BrewerUniversity of Minnesota, told The Atlantic.

And since the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared over in May of this year, encitrevir will likely not receive the same emergency use authorization that paxlovid received.

Nevertheless, the F.D.A. Granted “fast track” status to new drugsThis means the review process will be expedited once the drug manufacturer Shionogi & Co., based in Osaka, submits the necessary documents.

Paxrobid emerged as the go-to antiviral drug early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

encitrevir vs. paxlovid

Encitrevir has many advantages over paxlobid and other antiviral drugs. People who took the drug test negative almost two days earlier than those who took a placebo.

Symptoms such as fever, congestion, sore throat, cough, and fatigue disappear more quickly than with paxlobid in some groups.

“Rebound” infections are common among paxlobid users but rare among encitervir users. Anecdotal reports suggest that in cases of addiction, the taste of encitrevir is unremarkable, but paxlovid patients describe the aftertaste as “a mouthful of dirty pennies and rotten soy milk.”

Symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, congestion, sore throat, cough, and fatigue, disappear more quickly with encitrevir.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Encitrevir is also easier to take as it only needs to be administered once a day, whereas paxlobid users must take three tablets twice a day for five days.

But the two drugs have never been compared in head-to-head trials, so medical experts are holding off on their enthusiasm for ensitrevir until more data is available.

loss of smell and taste

Nevertheless, a new study found that encitrevir effectively alleviated one of the most troubling and troubling effects of COVID-19: the loss of smell and taste.

After seven days, the proportion of study participants who experienced loss of smell or taste was 39% lower in the encitrevir group than in the placebo group.

Paxlobid and ensitrevir have never been compared in head-to-head trials, so medical experts are holding off on their enthusiasm for ensitrevir until more data is available.

“Although most people eventually recover on their own, we know that some people have long-term problems with their sense of smell and taste,” says infectious disease researcher at Fujita Health University in Japan. Mr. Yohei Doi, a research researcher, said: spoke naturally.

“As the Omicron variant became dominant, loss of taste and smell became less and less likely,” Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, explained to Nature.

“But it’s still happening and it’s a dire symptom,” Adalja added. “What we’re trying to do is not only minimize severe illness, hospitalization and death, but also minimize the disruption that infectious diseases have on people’s activities.”

Pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. continues to conduct clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of encitrevir in various user groups.

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