Human treatment for Covid is being used on Cyprus’ cats suffering from Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a coronavirus

The news today is that surplus stocks of “unused coronavirus medication for humans will be made available to treat cats in Cyprus” (The Guardian) suffering from the mass outbreak of FIP (a different species of coronavirus). News media covered the story extensively and while doing so grossly exaggerated the deaths in stating that 300,000 had died and that the disease was going to be shipped to the UK! It was clickbait news media gone mad. I challenged the news in an article as it was not mathematically possible in my view. FIP is not zoonotic – it can’t be transmitted to people.

FIP. Image: MikeB
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The interesting thing about this new story is that they are using an unlicensed human drug to treat FIP in Cypriot cats. They don’t state what the drug is! My research indicates that it would be one of the anti-virals: Nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir, remdesivir and molnupiravir.

The last-named drug was tested on FIP cats and found to be beneficial and superior to another unlicensed drug that was trialed some years ago GS-441524. I wrote about that too (click this link to read the article).

Chat GPT (AI chat bot) reworded the abstract of an Oct 2022 study on treating cats suffering from FIP with a human Covid-19 treatment drug. The study title: Unlicensed Molnupiravir is an Effective Rescue Treatment Following Failure of Unlicensed GS-441524-like Therapy for Cats with Suspected Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Link:

[This is a] summary of a study or research related to the use of unlicensed molnupiravir as a potential treatment for Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) in cats. FIP is a complex and historically fatal disease in cats, and this research explores the use of molnupiravir as a therapeutic option. The study documented treatment protocols for 30 cats, with a focus on 26 cats treated with molnupiravir as a rescue therapy. Here are some key points from the provided information:

  1. Treatment Approach: The study investigated the use of unlicensed molnupiravir as both a first-line therapy for suspected FIP and as a rescue therapy for cats that had persistent or relapsed clinical signs of FIP after receiving other therapies (GS-441524 and/or GC376).
  2. Dosage and Duration: The cats treated with molnupiravir had an average starting dosage of 12.8 mg/kg and an average ending dosage of 14.7 mg/kg, administered twice daily. The treatment duration was a median of 12 weeks, with an interquartile range (IQR) of 10 to 15 weeks.
  3. Efficacy: Out of the 26 cats treated with molnupiravir as a rescue therapy, 24 cats were still alive and disease-free at the time of writing. This suggests a positive response to the treatment in the majority of cases.
  4. Adverse Effects: Adverse effects were reported in some cases, including folded ears, broken whiskers, and severe leukopenia (reduced white blood cell count). These effects were more commonly observed at dosages above 23 mg/kg twice daily.
  5. Implications: The study is considered a “proof of principle” for the use of molnupiravir in cats with FIP. It suggests that molnupiravir might be a potentially safe and effective therapy for the disease. However, further studies are needed to evaluate its efficacy, safety, and optimal dosages.
  6. Future Research: The study highlights the need for additional research to investigate molnupiravir’s potential as a treatment for FIP. More comprehensive studies are necessary to establish its effectiveness, safety profile, and appropriate dosing regimen.

Please note that while this summary provides an overview of the research findings you’ve shared, it’s important to refer to the original study for complete and accurate information. Additionally, since my knowledge is based on information available up until September 2021, I might not have the latest updates or developments on this topic beyond that date.

“The medication, in the form of anti-Covid pills, will be supplied through veterinary services.” – The Guardian.

Well, it looks like a sensible decision. The Guardian reports that the original estimates for cat death from FIP were exaggerated and quote 10,000 but that’s a guess too. I’d suspect that it is even less than that. There are about one million cats on Cyprus, many strays as they do a poor job of TNR on the island so the stray cats procreate.

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