Favipiravir for symptomatic COVID-19: A nationwide observational cohort study

the Favipiravir Observational Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Favipiravir, an antiviral agent with activity against SARS-CoV-2, was made available to hospitals in Japan for off-label use among COVID-19 patients between 2020 and 2021. Methods: A nationwide observational cohort study was conducted on patients who received favipiravir as part of clinical care between February 2020 and December 2021. Information was collected on demographics, comorbidities, severity of illness, use of favipiravir and other medications targeting COVID-19, adverse events, clinical status at 7 and 14 days and clinical outcome one month after admission to the hospital. Results: A total of 17,508 hospitalized patients who received favipiravir were registered from 884 hospitals. In terms of demographics, 55.9% were age ≥60 years, and 62.3% were male. At least one of the four surveyed comorbidities was present in 45.5% of the patients. The rates of clinical improvement at 7 and 14 days were 72.4% and 87.5%, 61.4% and 76.6%, and 45.4% and 59.5% for mild, moderate, and severe diseases, respectively. The case fatality rates within a month from hospitalization were 3.3%, 12.6%, and 29.1% for mild, moderate, and severe diseases, respectively. Significant correlations were observed between death and advanced age, male sex, moderate or severe disease, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and immunosuppression. Commonly reported adverse events included uric acid level increase or hyperuricemia (16.8%), liver function abnormalities (6.9%), and rash (1.0%). Conclusions: Favipiravir was well tolerated among COVID-19 patients. The study provides insights into the use of this agent at hospitals across Japan in the early phase of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection and Chemotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 02-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Favipiravir for symptomatic COVID-19: A nationwide observational cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this