• Monday, December 11, 2023

HEALTH

WHO revises its guidance on Covid-19 treatments

The guidance incorporates the latest clinical trial evidence for existing and new Covid-19 therapies

The WHO recommends the use of antiviral drug nirmatrelvir-ritonavir in patients with non-severe Covid-19 at high and moderate risk of hospital admission – Representational image (iStock)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revised its recommendations on Covid-19 treatments, offering up-to-date and reliable guidance to aid doctors in making informed decisions regarding the management of the disease.

The new recommendations published by The BMJ are part of a living guideline, developed by the WHO with the methodological support of Norwegian non-profit MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation.

The guidance incorporates the latest clinical trial evidence for existing and new Covid-19 therapies and takes account of evidence relating to safety, prognosis, resources, access, and equity issues, as well as patient values and preferences, the WHO said.

The update includes distinct risk categories to help doctors more accurately assess whether an individual is at high, moderate, or low risk of hospital admission and tailor treatment accordingly.

The WHO recommends the use of antiviral drug nirmatrelvir-ritonavir in patients with non-severe Covid-19 at high and moderate risk of hospital admission.

It also recommends against the use of the antiviral drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir for patients with non-severe Covid-19 at moderate and low risk of hospital admission (treatment is suggested for patients at high risk of admission).

According to the update the WHO also recommends against the use of a new antiviral (VV116) for patients with Covid-19 except in clinical trials, regardless of illness severity.

The WHO also strongly recommends against the use of ivermectin for patients with non-severe Covid-19.

The experts are of the opinion that the new recommendations reflect changes in the virulence and transmissibility of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and sub-variants, along with changes in immunity related to global vaccinations.

These changes have led to lower baseline risks of severe illness and death for most patients with non-severe Covid-19, they said.

(PTI)

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