IMMOKALEE, Fla. — A new oral pill to treat the coronavirus was studied in Immokalee. The drug called molnupiravir is seeking emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Antonio Gonzalez led the clinical trial in Immokalee. Immokalee is just one of about 100 sites conducting the study.
“It was very beneficial for patients who were infected with COVID-19 infections,” said Gonzalez.
39 people were part of the trial in Immokalee. The treatment was given to those 18 and older who contracted the virus and had underlying health conditions like obesity and diabetes.
“You want the patient to be within five days of the beginning of the disease,” he said. “The symptoms have to be mild to moderate.”
Gonzalez said the treatment cuts the number of hospitalizations and deaths in half. Patients would receive four pills two times a day for five days.
“In fact none of the patients that we have here complained of any side effects,” Gonzalez said. “I think the drug is very safe.”
Gonzalez believes this treatment will reach more people since it is taken orally.
“Most of the people are afraid of injections,” he said.
If approved, Gonzalez said people most likely would need a prescription from a doctor to take the pills.
A second clinical trial is being conducted at the Immokalee clinic. The trial will test and study how effective the pill is for people who have come into close contact with the virus.
“The other member of the family that is not infected, if they take this drug they are most likely not to get infected with the virus,” Gonzalez said.
The clinical trial, called MOVe-AHEAD, is enrolling volunteers who are at least 18 years of age without confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who reside in the same household as someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.