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Prescription anti-virals for treatment of Covid-19 to be sold at pharmacies

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From Thursday, anti-viral medication for the treatment of Covid-19 will be available at pharmacies for patients with a doctor’s prescription. According to a Thai PBS World report, Favipiravir, Molnupiravir and Paxlovid will all be available, with pharmacies required to purchase the drugs from importers approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These importers will also be certified to supply hospitals and clinics, as well as pharmacies.

However, Dr Paisarn Dunkum from the FDA says not all Covid-19 patients will require the treatment and will only be able to get the drugs on a doctor’s advice and prescription.

“You can only take them if they have been prescribed to you by a doctor. So, if you don’t have a prescription, pharmacies will not sell anti-viral medicines to you.”

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry is advising the public to be aware that the drugs can have side-effects, including nausea, diarrhea and dizziness among several others. Favipiravir has been known to lower the white blood cell count in some patients, while Paxlovid can affect taste, and Molnupiravir can cause itching and a skin rash and is not to be used in those under the age of 18.

Dr Kiattibhoom Vongrachit has also cautioned against storing the drugs in a household first-aid box, pointing out the risk of side-effects and that patients will need to be mindful of expiry dates.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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