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US warns monkeypox could mutate to resist antiviral drug

Monkeypox Drug
Posted at 11:23 AM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 11:23:49-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials are warning doctors against overusing the lone drug available to treat monkeypox.

Federal health officials say that even a small mutation in the virus could leave the drug ineffective.

Viruses are constantly evolving to better infect humans and overcome new drugs and vaccines. The drug is called Tpoxx. The Food and Drug Administration warned this week that the pills are highly vulnerable to resistance.

The call to scale back Tpoxx’s use follows weeks of criticism from HIV advocates and other patient groups seeking to increase use of the drug.

Currently it is considered experimental and tightly controlled by the federal government.