Everything about Virafin (Pegylated interferon alfa-2b

Amid the many bad news in current time from the Covid-19 front from India there is one good news in the media. Let us discuss Zydus company drug Virafin in detail.

What is Virafin?

Virafin is a new drug marketed by Zydus company. It is an antiviral drug and used in viral diseases. Being an antiviral drug it reduces the viral load when given to a person with viral disease and thus helps to cure or control the disease.

Why is Virafin in the news?

It was in a previously known drug. Its not the very new one. But it has been found to decrease the viral load in the Covid-19 disease too.

Drug controller general of India has approved its use for moderate cases of covid-19 disease. Covid-19 badly affecting all of us this is good news giving new hope to the public so Virafin is in the news.

We are already facing deficiency and heavy demand for the Remdesivir, this is the second drug available in the market which got approved for now.

What does it contain?

Virafin is a brand name of the Zydus drug for the generic Pegylated interferon alfa 2b. Interferons are agents or signals used by our immune system for its function. So this is artificial form of interferon that helps to fight against different viruses.

For what conditions is it used?

Previously this medicine was used for the treatment of Hepatitis C along with other antiviral Ribavarin.

Virafin is also used in cases of melanoma along with surgical treatment.

When to use Virafin in Covid-19 disease?

Currently Virafin has got approval to use in moderate cases of the Covid-19 disease. Every Covid-19 case will not need this medicine. This medicine will not be available without doctor’s prescription.

What is the company claiming about it?

If used in moderate Covid-19 cases this drug reduces viral load to zero in 7 days.This is a very significant claim anyone has ever made. Let us see how it works. Currently its has been approved for restricted use by emergency authorization by DCGI.

What are side effects?

Like all the medicines this too has its own side effects. It is important to know the side effects as the use of drugs is warranted if benefits are significantly more than side effects. The risk to benefit ratio should be favourable for the patient.

  • Headache
  • feeling tired
  • mood changes
  • trouble sleeping
  • hair loss
  • Nausea
  • pain at the site of injection
  • Fever.

Apart from these there are side effects that are more serious but not common as above side effects. They are as follows:

  • Psychosis
  • liver problems
  • blood clots
  • Infections
  • an irregular heartbeat.

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