DRDO's 2DG medicine to treat Covid-19: Availability, dosage, price
The 2-deoxy-D-glucose drug, the first such medicine in India meant to treat Covid-19 infections, is likely to be available from the coming week, news agency ANI reported. In the first batch, 10,000 doses of this medicine will be launched. In the last year, medical experts deliberated on the effectiveness of several drugs including Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, Ivermectin. But 2-DG is the first one to be termed as an anti-Covid drug. The apex drug controller of the country has allowed this drug for emergency use among Covid-19 patients.
Here is all we need to know about this drug:
Manufacturers: The drug has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation's laboratory Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences. Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Laboratories has been a partner and it is manufacturing the drug for public use.
How will the drug work?
The drug is a repurposed drug as the 2-DG molecule is meant for treating tumour, cancer cells. This is a glucose analogue, which looks like glucose but is not. A virus that is multiplying fast in the body needs glucose for energy. Thus, the virus will take this glucose analogue and will get arrested. The drug will then stop the virus from multiplying.
How will it treat Covid-19 patients with oxygen level dropping?
Director of the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Dr Anil Mishra, has explained in an interview to All India Radio that the oxygen demand increases as the virus is multiplying fast in the body. Once that process is stopped, the oxygen crisis will also be addressed.
Will this drug work on variants of the virus?
Dr Mishra has said that the way the drug functions is supposed to arrest any variant as a multiplying virus, irrespective of variant, will need food and thus will get trapped by the drug.
INMAS scientist Dr Sudhir Chandna has said that the pricing will be determined by Dr Reddy's laboratories, which is manufacturing the doses. Dr Mishra said the pricing will be done keeping affordability in mind.
Dr Sudhir Chandna has said like glucose powder, this drug can be taken with water, twice a day. A Covid-19 patient may have to take this drug for five to seven days to get completely cured.