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Baby's Brown Eyes Turn Blue Overnight After COVID-19 Treatment

A 6-month-old baby boy in Thailand made headlines after his eyes turned from dark brown to bright blue overnight following a COVID-19 treatment.

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A 6-month-old’s eye color appeared to change just 18 hours after taking favipiravir, the suggested treatment in Thailand for children diagnosed with COVID-19. Department of Pediatrics / Chulabhorn Hospital

The treatment was favipiravir, an antiviral drug that is approved by the Thai Ministry of Public Health for children with mild-to-moderate symptoms. The baby's mother noticed the change in his eye color about 18 hours after he started taking the medication.

Doctors who examined the baby were surprised by the change in eye color, but they did not find any other abnormalities. They believe that the change in eye color may be due to the fluorescence of the drug or its metabolites.

Fluorescence is the emission of absorbed light. The drug favipiravir contains a compound called titanium dioxide, which is fluorescent. It is possible that the titanium dioxide in the drug caused the baby's eyes to fluoresce, giving them a blue appearance.

The doctors also noted that the baby's eyes returned to their original color after about five days. This suggests that the change in eye color was temporary and not permanent.

This is the first known case of a baby's eyes turning blue after taking favipiravir. More research is needed to understand the mechanism behind this phenomenon.

In the meantime, parents should be aware that this is a possible side effect of the drug. If their baby's eyes change color after taking favipiravir, they should contact their doctor.

The case of the baby whose eyes turned blue after taking favipiravir is a reminder that even common medications can have unexpected side effects. It is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any medication before taking it.

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