By: Andrea Neilson, Pharmacist at Yurek Specialties
You may have heard that there is now a Covid-19 treatment that can be taken at home to reduce complications. Yes, there is, and it is called Paxlovid.
Who should get it?
- Not everyone qualifies, it is only given to people who are at high risk of serious illness from Covid-19 eg – weakened immune system, age > 70 or 1 risk condition + not fully vaccinated
Is it effective?
- Only effective within 5 days of symptom onset, so don’t delay seeking treatment
- Highly effective at reducing risk of hospitalization
How does it work?
- Contains 2 antiviral drugs, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir
- One stops the virus from replicating and one helps to prevent the other drug from being cleared out of the body too quickly.
Is it safe?
- Side effects are usually mild (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, muscle aches)
- There are lots of drug interactions, so your pharmacist will review your profile to see if the dose needs to change or if it is not appropriate based on other medications.
How do I get it?
- A positive Covid-19 test and a prescription from your doctor are required.
- Remember not to delay since it only works within 5 days of symptoms appearing
- Provided free of charge by the government at community pharmacies
- Don’t delay seeking treatment if you feel you are high risk and have symptoms
- Treatment is not a substitute for vaccines – the best defense if to be fully vaccinated