A UC Davis Health study finds that the antiviral tecovirimat appears to be safe and effective for the treatment of monkeypox symptoms and skin lesions. The study is one of the earliest studies to assess and report the outcomes of treating patients with monkeypox with this antiviral.
Tecovirimat (TPOXX) is an FDA-approved antiviral drug for the treatment of smallpox. It limits viral spread in the body by inhibiting the work of the protein involved in the release of the enveloped virus. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allowed physicians to prescribe tecovirimat on a compassionate use basis to treat adults and children with orthopoxvirus infections, including monkeypox.
In a research letter published in JAMA, UC Davis infectious disease experts presented insights on 25 patients with monkeypox who were given tecovirimat therapy.
“We have very limited clinical data on the use of tecovirimat for monkeypox infection. There is much to learn about the natural progression of the disease and how tecovirimat and other antivirals may affect it,” said lead author Angel Desai. She is an adult infectious disease specialist at UC Davis Health.
Treating monkeypox with tecovirimat
The recent global outbreak of monkeypox has led to more than 45,500 cases as of August 22, 2022. While symptoms usually resolve on their own in 2-4 weeks, a recent study showed that 13% of patients needed hospitalization.
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