TUESDAY, June 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, molnupiravir offers additional important clinical benefits, according to a study published online June 7 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Noting that molnupiravir showed a clinically meaningful reduction in the risk for hospitalization or death in adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, Matthew G. Johnson, M.D., from Merck & Co. Inc. in Rahway, New Jersey, and colleagues examined other potential clinical benefits of molnupiravir versus placebo in a secondary analysis of data from a randomized phase 3 component of the MOVe-OUT trial. A total of 1,433 nonhospitalized adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 from 107 global sites were randomly assigned to molnupiravir 800 mg or placebo every 12 hours for five days.

The researchers found that compared with placebo, participants receiving molnupiravir showed faster normalization of C-reactive protein and oxygen saturation, with improvements seen on day 3 of therapy. A reduced need for respiratory interventions was seen for molnupiravir-treated versus placebo-treated participants (relative risk reduction [RRR], 34.3 percent), with similar findings for those who were hospitalized after randomization (RRR, 21.3 percent). Hospitalized participants who received molnupiravir versus placebo were discharged a median of three days earlier. Molnupiravir- versus placebo-treated participants also had fewer acute care visits (RRR, 32.1 percent) and COVID-19-related acute care visits (RRR, 33.8 percent).

“These findings suggest there is added clinical value of molnupiravir for the treatment of nonhospitalized adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Merck, the manufacturer of molnupiravir.

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