Updated: Mar 29
A clinical trial sponsored by Pfizer (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04960202) is underway. It's designed to study the efficacy and safety in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 by using Pfizer's new oral drug PF-07321332 in conjunction with an HIV/AIDS treatment, Ritonavir. They are currently recruiting for phase 3 of the study.
PF-07321332 is similar to another treatment Pfizer investigated called PF-07304814. They both are designed to inhibit viral replication but results for either have not been published despite one study concluding. The new drug PF-07321332 has an oral application instead of requiring intravenous administration in a hospital, unlike the prior drug.
One of the mechanisms of Pfizer's drug (PF-07321332) is identical to Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic used in humans and animals for decades. The protease inhibitor factor is what is common between the two drugs. Many, including myself, have to be wondering why Ivermectin which has been deemed safe by sources such as this Research Article (even for children) isn't being utilized more by the U.S. and others but instead, identical drugs are being pursued.
Ritonavir is the second antiviral agent taken in the trial NCT04960202 alongside PF-07321332. This drug is widely used in the therapy and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
According to this government research information, Ritonavir would be a drug chosen for COVID-19 treatment that seems risky to me. (As a layman when it comes to medicine and certainly not a doctor) Ritonavir seems to have many negative consequences according to the background and case reports outlined, and I can't help but as why this particular choice has been made. This being part of treatment for COVID-19 is especially alarming to me considering the long list of side effects which includes:
influenza syndrome (frequency not reported)
asthenia (up to 46%)
Fainting (less common)
Paresthesia (very common; up to 50.7%)
dysgeusia (loss of taste, very common)
convulsions (Incidence not known)
difficulty with breathing (Incidence not known)
difficulty with moving (less common)
delusions (less common)
fear (less common)
feeling sad or empty (less common)
throat irritation(less common)
loss of interest or pleasure (less common)
muscle pain or stiffness (less common)
pain in the joints or in an unspecified location (less common)
cerebral venous thrombosis
Reuters Science News covered this posting: