After five days of launching, the Government of India’s Ayush Ministry has come out with answers on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on AYUSH 64 drug. The polyherbal drug AYUSH 64 has been found to be useful in treating mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in clinical trials, said the Ministry. Described by experts as a ray of hope in the time of the pandemic, the polyherbal drug AYUSH 64 which was originally developed in 1980 for the treatment of malaria, has now been repurposed for COVID-19. The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), a research institution under the Ministry of Ayush devoted to Ayurveda, recently concluded extensive and robust clinical trials of the drug in collaboration with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and many other research organizations and medical colleges across the country.
The trials led by reputed scientists of the country showed AYUSH 64 has notable antiviral, immune-modulator and antipyretic properties. It is found to be useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 infection. Consequently, the drug is now repurposed for COVID-19.
The in-silico study done on AYUSH 64 showed that 35 out of 36 of its Phyto-constituents have a high binding affinity against the COVID-19 virus.
The announcement by the Ministry of the findings of the clinical trials in a press conference on April 29, has led to considerable interest in AYUSH 64 among the public as well as medical practitioners. Responding to the numerous queries received in the matter, the Ministry has now released replies to the same in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) format, and the same is reproduced below:
What is AYUSH 64?
AYUSH 64 is an Ayurvedic formulation, developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), the apex body for research in Ayurveda under the Ministry of Ayush. Originally developed in 1980 for the management of Malaria, this drug has now been repurposed for COVID-19 as its ingredients showed notable antiviral, immune-modulator and antipyretic properties. The in-silico study done on AYUSH 64 showed that 35 out of 36 of its Phyto-constituents have a high binding affinity against the COVID-19 virus. The formulation has also shown very promising results in Influenza-like illnesses. With scientific evidence generated from 06 clinical studies across India, AYUSH 64 has been identified as a potential adjunct to standard care in the management of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 to improve the clinical recovery and quality of life.
Who can take AYUSH 64?
It can be taken by patients at any stage of the COVID-19 disease. However, its efficacy was scientifically studied in asymptomatic, mild and moderate disease without risk factors for poor outcome and those not requiring emergency interventions or hospitalization are eligible to take AYUSH 64. Patients of mild to moderate COVID-19 cases showing initial symptoms like fever, malaise, body ache, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, headache, cough etc., and of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 can start taking AYUSH 64 within 7 days of diagnosis of the disease through RT-PCR for a better outcome.
Why should I take AYUSH 64?
AYUSH 64 is found to significantly enhance the speed of clinical recovery in terms of disease symptoms and severity. It also has significant beneficial effects on general health, fatigue, anxiety, stress, appetite, general wellbeing and sleep.
It can be taken as a standalone treatment in mild cases under the supervision of an Ayurvedic physician, provided there is the availability of appropriate referral facilities.
Is its efficacy on COVID-19 scientifically proven?
AYUSH 64 is a polyherbal formulation developed in compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as quality and pharmacopoeial standards by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) the apex body for research in Ayurveda under the Ministry of Ayush. It has been scientifically established to be useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 infection as an adjunct to standard care through robust clinical trials conducted in the country. The results of the clinical trials demonstrated that AYUSH 64 as an adjunct to standard of care (SoC) showed clinically significant improvement and thus lesser period of hospitalization as compared to SoC alone.
What is the ideal dose for AYUSH 64 in COVID-19 patients?
The dose for asymptomatic COVID-19 case is 2 tablets of 500 mg twice daily one hour after meals with warm water for 14 days. The dose for mild to moderate cases is 2 tablets of 500 mg thrice daily one hour after meals with warm water for 14 days.
Are there any side effects of AYUSH 64?
Loose motions can occur in some patients, which is self-limiting and does not require any medical intervention.
Can AYUSH 64 be taken as prophylactic medicine also?
It may be used for prophylaxis also, in a dose of 2 tablets of 500 mg twice daily, but its efficacy as a prophylactic agent has not been demonstrated through clinical studies. But if a person is exposed to a COVID-19 case, AYUSH 64 can be taken when symptoms appear. In such instances, the person should get tested for COVID-19 through RT-PCR or Rapid antigen test and should follow SoC.
Should AYUSH 64 be taken as standalone treatment in mild cases?
It can be taken as a standalone treatment in mild cases under the supervision of an Ayurvedic physician, provided there is the availability of appropriate referral facilities. However, it is advised that AYUSH 64 should be taken as an adjunct to the SoC in mild to moderate disease when the patient is under home isolation. AYUSH 64 shall only be used as per the advice of a qualified Ayush practitioner.
For how many days should AYUSH 64 be taken?
AYUSH 64 can be taken for a minimum period of 14 days. However, if required, it can be taken up to 12 weeks, as per the advice of a qualified Ayush practitioner. It has been scientifically proven to be safe for up to 12 weeks, through clinical studies.
How should AYUSH 64 be taken?
It can be taken with warm water, preferably one hour after food.
Can a COVID-19 patient with other comorbidities take AYUSH 64?
Patients with co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes etc., can take AYUSH 64 for asymptomatic, mild to moderate disease and are advised not to discontinue their respective medications.
Is AYUSH 64 safe, if taken after vaccination?
Yes. If a person gets infected even after vaccination, AYUSH 64 can be taken within 7 days of testing RT-PCR positive for SARS CoV-2, in consultation with an Ayush Physician. However, evidence in favour of it has not been elicited through scientific studies.
Is it safe in pregnant and lactating women?
The safety of AYUSH 64 in cases of pregnant and lactating women is not established through scientific studies.
Is AYUSH 64 available in the market?
It is available in the market and can be purchased from Ayurvedic pharmacies. However, it should be ensured that it should not be used as an over the counter prescription (OTC) and shall only be used under the supervision of Ayurvedic physicians.
What guidelines should I follow while taking AYUSH 64?
There are no special precautions to be followed while using AYUSH 64. However, one must follow all the COVID-19 related guidelines given by the Ministry of Ayush and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
PGurus published details of AYUSH 64 Ayurvedic Drug a few days ago. It can be read here.
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