The Food and Drug Administration has determined that Merck’s COVID-19 pill is effective in treating the coronavirus, but more research on potential issues is needed.
The FDA will now be seeking input from outside experts when it comes to the side effects from the pill concerning risks of birth defects and other issues pregnant women could face if they take the treatment, The Associated Press reported.
There are several potential risks including possible toxicity and birth defects.
Officials said the company had less safety data on the pill as compared to other COVID-19 treatments.
Right now all COVID-19 treatments involve an injection or IV. If approved, Merck’s COVID-19 pill would be the first treatment that can be used at home, the AP reported.
It has already been approved in the United Kingdom.
The FDA has a meeting scheduled next week for a panel of experts to discuss the use of the drug, but the FDA is not required to follow the panel’s recommendations.
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