MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The data support continued access to tecovirimat for treatment of monkeypox virus infection, with subjective improvement seen at a median of three days after initiation of treatment, according to research published in the Sept. 9 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that use of tecovirimat for treatment of monkeypox in the United States is permitted only through a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-regulated Expanded Access Investigational New Drug mechanism, Kevin O’Laughlin, M.D., from the CDC Monkeypox Emergency Response Team, and colleagues describe the characteristics of persons treated with tecovirimat for monkeypox virus infection.

Intake and outcome forms were available for 549 and 369 patients, respectively, as of Aug. 20, 2022. The researchers found that 97.7 percent of the patients were men (median age, 36.5 years) and 38.8 percent were non-Hispanic White. Overall, 99.8 percent of patients were prescribed oral tecovirimat, and 93.1 percent were not hospitalized. Of the patients with monkeypox virus infection who received tecovirimat, about half were living with HIV infection. The median interval was three days from initiation of tecovirimat to subjective improvement, with no difference by HIV infection status. In 3.5 percent of patients, adverse events were reported; all but one were nonserious.

“Currently, there are no human data demonstrating the efficacy of tecovirimat, and clinical trials are necessary to elucidate clinical efficacy in patients with monkeypox virus infection, indications for treatment, and ideal duration of treatment,” the authors write.

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