Starting with the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, Favipiravir (Favira®) and Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®) were the dynamic duo which put hope into millions of people and scientists alike.

These two drugs were, however not officially accepted by healthcare authorities in many countries, became the staple of standard COVID-19 treatment.

The combination of the antiviral and the antimalarial were said to be causing significant decreases in both the morbidity and mortality rates caused by COVID-19. But were these claims true?

Many published papers said so, writing epic stories about the magical power the duo possessed. But, independent researchers began to take interest in the subject. Quickly realized was the fact that, while neither drug caused any significant decrease in the morbidity and mortality rates due do COVID-19, they both caused side effects that were sometimes deadly.

Favipiravir was found to be exacerbating the symptoms of COVID-19, and Hydroxychloroquine was found to be causing unwanted cardiac side effects in patients (namely; Long-QT syndrome), even causing sudden cardiac death.

When these facts were found out, of course, the drugs were quickly left to rot in the storage rooms of hospitals, with national and international healthcare authorities condemning the use of the duo.

Today, with the COVID-19 variants being less dangerous and deadly, the usual approach undertaken by experienced doctors is the supportive symptomatic treatment (with IM injections, IV infusions, inhalation therapy, et cetera), as done in many respiratory viral infections; which has a success rate of well over 90%, according to recent publications.

With the pandemic almost coming to an end, people are happy to finally be able to travel once again. It has been a long 2 years for everyone. Now, finally, with controlled re-normalization, we can start living our lives freely once again.

 

Dr. Şerifhan Mirac Sarı, MD
Chief Medical Officer

 

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