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An infant’s eyes turn bright blue temporary after taking Covid-19 medication

In Thailand, a 6-month-old baby’s dark brown eyes turned bright blue temporarily after receiving the Covid-19 treatment Favipiravir, approved for children with mild to moderate symptoms.

Similar cases have been reported, raising questions about the medication’s side effects.



THAILAND: A 6-month-old Thai baby’s eyes underwent a temporary colour change from dark brown to bright blue after receiving oral treatment for Covid-19, Favipiravir, which is approved by the Thai Ministry of Public Health.

The 6-month-old from Thailand was diagnosed with Covid-19 after suffering from a fever and a cough for a day, as detailed in a case published in the medical journal Frontiers in Pediatrics.

Favipiravir is an antiviral treatment approved by the Thai Ministry of Public Health in 2022 for children with mild to moderate symptoms.

Approximately 18 hours after commencing the medication, the child’s mother observed a startling transformation in her son’s eye colour from dark brown to blue hue.

She promptly contacted medical professionals who advised her to discontinue the treatment immediately.

After roughly five days, the discolouration gradually faded, and the child’s cornea returned to its original colour.

Thereafter, doctors conducted a thorough examination and found the cornea had cleared and lacked a bluish hue. At the same time, no blue pigment deposit was noted on the surface of the iris or the anterior lens capsule.

While experts remain uncertain about the exact cause of Favipiravir-induced discolouration, they speculate that it may be linked to fluorescence, the emission of absorbed light, possibly originating from the drug, its metabolites, or additional tablet components like titanium dioxide and yellow ferric oxide.

Prior research has indicated a direct relationship between the concentration of Favipiravir and fluorescence intensity, particularly in human hair and nails.

Fortunately, the child did not experience any vision impairment and successfully recovered from their Covid-19 symptoms.

Common side effects of Favipiravir include mild hyperuricemia (elevated uric acid levels), diarrhoea, and neutropenia (reduced white blood cell neutrophils), constituting approximately 20% of adverse reactions. However, the drug has caused corneal discolouration in one previously documented case.

In 2021, a man in India reported the first case of the unusual adverse effect of the treatment.

A 20-year-old man in India reported the first case of the unusual adverse effect of the treatment in 2021

According to the New York Post, an unnamed 20-year-old was diagnosed with Covid-19 and prescribed Favipiravir after two days of seeing no improvements while taking vitamin C, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and ivermectin.

But on his second day of Favipiravir treatment, the man noticed that his dark brown eyes had become bright blue. Doctors advised the man to stop taking the medication, and his eyes returned to their normal color after just one day.

The report about the infant was published in April 2023, but the exact date of the incident is unknown.

Favipiravir is approved in Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Moldova, and Kazakhstan and received approval for emergency use in Italy in 2020.

Favipiravir is approved as a Covid-19 treatment in several countries. Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

Researchers in the United States consider the medication an effective therapy for Covid-19, after several studies have tested the efficacy of the drug’s ability to combat the disease, but it has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

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sus. who profit from this?