The anti-COVID drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose or 2-DG, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, was launched on Monday by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan (DRDO). In the national capital, the two union ministers distributed approximately 10,000 doses of the drug.

The drug 2-DG was developed in partnership with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories by the DRDO. It was approved for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) after phase 2 trials found the medication to be safe for treating COVID-19 patients. In Covid-19 infected patients, the 2-DG anti-Covid drug is expected to minimise their reliance on medical oxygen. The drug’s pseudo glucose molecule prevents the virus from infecting the intestines. As a result, it’s been recommended for Coronavirus-infected patients who need life-saving medical oxygen.

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According to the results of the trials, the medication could help hospitalised Covid patients heal faster and reduce their reliance on medical oxygen. By the third day, 42 percent of patients who were given two sachets of the medication daily did not need vital oxygen supply.

The drug has been shown to be effective in mild to severe cases of Covid. And people over the age of 65 will benefit from it. However, since the drug does not guarantee recovery on its own, it can be used in conjunction with other treatments. The medication is in the form of a powder that must be taken orally with water.

The cost of the drug has yet to be determined. However, sources say that each sachet of the drug would cost between Rs 500 and Rs 600. It is currently unavailable over-the-counter. Dr. Reddy’s Lab is only producing a small amount of the medication for hospitals.