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Can cancer patients with Covid-19 take molnupiravir?

An 18-year-old cancer patient with Covid-19 is not in the contraindication group for a drug containing the active ingredient molnupiravir, but requires further advice from a doctor.

My father is 63 years old this year, suffering from stage two nasopharyngeal cancer, has received radiation therapy. My father’s health is fine, but he is not eating and sleeping well. Recently, I contracted Covid-19 and my family members were also infected, including my father. I’m very worried. My father tested positive twice quickly, low fever, lots of cough, sore throat and fatigue, can he take molnupiravir to treat Covid-19? (Minh Khoi, Hanoi)


Molnupiravir is an antiviral drug that has been included in the Covid-19 treatment regimen by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. There are currently three domestically produced drugs containing the active ingredient molnupiravir, which have received permission from the Ministry of Health on 17 February. The drug works to reduce viral load when used in the early stages of the disease, helping to reduce the risk of seriousness and death.

The drug, which contains the active ingredient molnupiravir, is used for the treatment of COVID-19 for people aged 18 years who are positive for SARS-CoV-2 (PCR test or rapid test), have mild to moderate disease and have at least one disease risk factor. .severe development. The patient had no signs of pneumonia or hypoxia, respiratory rate less than or equal to 20 breaths per minute, SpO2 greater than or equal to 96%. The drug is used for 5 days, twice a day, at an interval of 12 hours, 800 mg in the morning and 800 mg in the afternoon.

Drugs containing the active ingredient molnupiravir to treat Covid-19 are not used for prophylaxis before or after Covid-19 infection; Not recommended for use in certain subjects such as people under the age of 18 years, pregnant and lactating women. People with liver failure, kidney failure can take monulpiravir but it should be used with caution.

The patient was examined at the Department of Oncology, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi.  Photo: Linh Dang

The patient was examined at the Department of Oncology, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi. Photo: Linh Dang

Cancer patients, if they do not have liver or kidney failure as caution is advised, could theoretically take molnupiravir if they have Covid-19. However, this depends on the type of cancer the patient has, the stage of the disease, the extent of tumor metastasis to organs, overall health… Therefore, your father has cancer. If you are diagnosed with Covid-19 then you need to consult a doctor, preferably a doctor who treats cancer. Your doctor will evaluate your father’s condition to decide whether it is necessary to use this drug during Covid-19 treatment.

The drug molnupiravir for the treatment of Covid-19 is sold with a doctor’s prescription, F0 certificate (certificate for rapid test, PCR test for health facilities) or video recording of the test process at home and sent to pharmacies. as a basis for buying drugs. This drug has limitations on use and warnings, use must be careful because it can cause some mild side effects in the digestive tract such as nausea, diarrhea or drowsiness, headache in some people.

Wish you and your family a speedy recovery.

BS Tran Hai Binh
Deputy Head of Department of Oncology, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi

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