(HealthDay News) — For patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, molnupiravir offers additional important clinical benefits, according to a study published online 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, MD, 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 1433 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 5 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%), with similar findings for those who were hospitalized after randomization (RRR, 21.3%). Hospitalized participants who received molnupiravir versus placebo were discharged a median of 3 days earlier. Molnupiravir- versus placebo-treated participants also had fewer acute care visits (RRR, 32.1%) and COVID-19-related acute care visits (RRR, 33.8%).

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“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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