People must be smart consumers (to) avoid taking illegal drugs.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM), on Sunday, issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for Paxlovid consisting of two medicines: 150 milligram (mg) Nirmatrelvir and 100 mg Ritonavir.

“The drugs are used to treat adult COVID-19 patients, who do not require supplemental oxygen and (do not) have high risk of suffering from severe (symptoms of) COVID-19,” Head of BPOM Penny K. Lukito said, as quoted in a statement here on Monday.

The agency has recommended the patients to take two tablets of Nirmatrelvir and one tablet of Ritonavir twice a day for a period of five days.

The BPOM head stated that according to the safety review, the use of film-coated protease inhibitor antiviral medicines is generally safe and tolerable.

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Lukito remarked that use of the drug caused mild to moderate side effects in the observed recipients, including dysgeusia in 5.6-percent cases, diarrhea in 3.1-percent recipients, headache in 1.4-percent cases, and vomiting in 1.1-percent recipients.

Results of the second and third phase of the drug’s clinical trials showed that Paxlovid could reduce the risk of suffering from severe symptoms or death by up to 89 percent for nonhospitalized adult COVID-19 patients, with comorbidities, she noted.

"Comorbidities associated with the patients included old age, obesity, smoking addiction, heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease," she remarked.

In addition to Paxlovid, the BPOM issued EUA for the use of several other COVID-19 medications, including antiviral drugs Favipiravir and Remdesivir in 2020, monoclonal antibody therapy drug Regdanvimab in 2021, and the antiviral medicine Molnupiravir in 2022.

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The use of COVID-19 therapeutic drugs continues to be monitored by the BPOM and the Health Ministry.

Lukito said that her side conducted surveillance from the upstream to downstream sector to prevent illegal drug trafficking, starting from the supply of raw materials to production, distribution, as well as circulation of drugs in the market.

"We urge the public to be more vigilant before buying or consuming medicines. People must be smart consumers (to) avoid taking illegal drugs," she added.
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Uyu Liman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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