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Side Effects Of Favipiravir
- Apr 22, 2021 -

The Japanese study discussed previously found that adverse reactions were seen in around 20% of the patients who received favipiravir (at a dose lower than approved for COVID-19).


The adverse effects were relatively minor and included hyperuricemia and diarrhea in 5% of the participants and reduced neutrophil count and transaminitis in 2% of the participants. One study showed occurrence of psychiatric symptoms in association with favipiravir. Effect of favipiravir in QTc prolongation is still uncertain, with some pharmacodynamic studies suggesting a positive association,but a Japanese study suggesting otherwise.Overall, favipiravir has a good safety profile, as was confirmed by a large systematic review.In the following, we give a brief overview of the adverse effect profile of this drug:


Favipiravir use results in a dose-dependent increasing trend in the prevalence of hyperuricemia.A systematic review conducted by Pilkington et al. found similar trends across multiple studies.This is however not associated with clinical manifestations. There has been no evidence that hyperuricemia caused by favipiravir leads to clinical manifestations; however, longer follow-up periods would be required to fully assess this risk.


There is evidence that favipiravir has a teratogenic potential and embryotoxicity. The Japanese drug safety bureau approval advises that favipiravir be given a strong warning against use in women of reproductive age and recommends precautionary statements on packaging and prescription alerts. The bureau also recommends that favipiravir should be avoided where alternative drugs could be used.Effective contraceptive methods during and for 7 days after the end of treatment need to be instructed to men who have received this treatment. Before favipiravir is prescribed to women of child-bearing age, it is imperative to rule out pregnancy with a negative urine pregnancy test.

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