- Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that is used as a treatment for filovirus infections such as Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus.
- Remdesivir has also shown some effectiveness against Nipah virus in primates.
- It is an investigational drug with broad-spectrum antiviral activity.
Why in News?
- Many doctors who have been treating COVID-19 patients in India say that remdesivir is no magic bullet but it may still have its uses.
- The World Health Organisation also advised against the use of remdesivir, which is listed as experimental therapy for COVID-19 by the Health Ministry.
About the warning
- Remdesivir, which was initially developed for use in the treatment of ebola and hepatitis C was found to be a promising candidate for COVID-19 through in vitro studies.
- The drug eventually became the drug of choice for COVID-19 treatment, not due to its efficacy, but mainly through its popularity.
- This frenzy put social pressure on doctors for its use in even mild disease. This has led to indiscriminate use of this drug.
- The doctors warned that there are many logistic and efficacy issues with remdesivir.
- It is an expensive drug requiring Intravenous administration, and the timing and duration of therapy are still fairly unknown.
- The side effect profile of the drug has also been largely unknown and there are chances that some of its side effects may have been wrongly attributed to COVID-19.