Elevation of Serum Transaminase Levels Due to Favipiravir Use in the Treatment of COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Sep 21;13(9):e18166. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18166. eCollection 2021 Sep.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Favipiravir is a ribonucleic acid (RNA)-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) inhibitor antiviral agent used in the treatment of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). In this study, we investigated the changes in serum transaminase levels of patients and the relationship between serum transaminase elevation with mortality in patients who were hospitalized with the diagnosis of COVID-19 and received favipiravir treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 454 patients who received favipiravir and 113 patients who did not receive favipiravir were evaluated. Serum transaminase levels of the patients were compared at baseline and after five days of treatment, and the relationship between serum transaminase elevation and mortality was investigated.

RESULTS: No significant aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation was detected due to favipiravir treatment. AST elevation was found, respectively, as 133 (29.3%), 32 (28.3%) (p=0.100), ALT elevation as 112 (24.7%), 35 (29.3%) (p=0.100) in the groups receiving and not receiving favipiravir. High AST level was found as a risk factor for mortality in all patient groups (p=0.008).

CONCLUSIONS: There was no statistically significant elevation in serum transaminase levels due to favipiravir use in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. A high level of AST is a significant risk factor to show mortality and intensive care unit (ICU) admission in patients with COVID-19.

PMID:34703696 | PMC:PMC8530246 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.18166

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