Although it has been widely used to treat COVID-19, there are a number of dangers and side effects of favipiravir for pregnant women and fetuses. Therefore, this medicine is not recommended for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Favipiravir is an antiviral drug developed in Japan. This drug is used to treat various types of influenza viruses, such as swine flu and bird flu. However, currently favipiravir is also being researched as a treatment for COVID-19.
Favipirafir owns the trademarks under the names Avifavir and Avigan. These two drugs also work in the same way, namely inhibiting the Corona virus from multiplying in the body.
According to research, favipiravir is effective for people with COVID-19 who are at risk of worsening to severe symptoms. This drug has also received permission from BPOM and is already available in Indonesia.
The Dangers of Favipiravir for Pregnant Women
Based on animal studies, favipiravir is classified as a teratogen, which is a substance that can increase the risk of damage to the formation of the embryo or fetal development, such as birth defects and miscarriage.
That is why the use of favipiravir for pregnant women is not recommended. Meanwhile, women who may become pregnant also need to take a pregnancy test to confirm that they are not pregnant when starting treatment with favipiravir.
In addition, favipiravir is also thought to be spread through sperm so that both men and women who are in the program of getting pregnant should use contraception during and after using this drug.
To be on the safe side, women and men of childbearing age who will take favipiravir need to use contraception consistently to prevent pregnancy, from the start of treatment to 7 days after taking favipiravir.
Side Effects of Using Favipiravir
Consumption of favipiravir in general is also known to cause a number of side effects. However, the side effects that appear are mild and not much different from other antiviral drugs for the treatment of COVID-19. Some of these side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach ache
- Muscle and joint pain
In some cases, taking favipiravir can increase levels of uric acid and liver enzymes in the body. However, this still requires further research.
Although it is said to be effective in treating COVID-19, data on clinical trials of the use of favipiravir in humans are still very limited, especially for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children. For safety reasons, you are not advised to use the drug without a doctor’s advice.
It is also important that you remember that to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 infection, you are still advised to adhere to the 5M health protocol, namely washing hands, wearing masks, maintaining distance, staying away from crowds, and reducing travel.
In addition, immediately vaccinate and complete the dose of COVID-19 vaccine to reduce the risk of severe symptoms of COVID-19.
If you still have questions about the dangers and side effects of favipiravir for pregnant women or about other COVID-19 treatments, such as favipiravir, or molnupiravir, do not hesitate to consult a doctor or consult on line with a doctor through the ALODOKTER application.