What to know about the the antiviral medication Paxlovid


California Gov. Gavin Newsom examined sure for COVID-19 and is taking Paxlovid. Here’s what mavens say concerning the drugs.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom used to be prescribed Paxlovid after he examined sure for COVID-19 over the weekend, his place of business introduced.

“The Governor has also received a prescription for Paxlovid, the antiviral that has been proven effective against COVID-19, and will begin his 5-day regimen immediately,” the May 28 remark mentioned.

The Food and Drug Administration first issued an emergency use authorization for Paxlovid in December.

“This authorization provides a new tool to combat COVID-19 at a crucial time in the pandemic as new variants emerge and promises to make antiviral treatment more accessible to patients who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19,” Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, mentioned on the time of the drug’s authorization.

When the drug used to be studied, researchers attempted to check whether or not the drug avoided hospitalizations in sufferers at top possibility of hospitalization, Dr. Tara Vijayan, who works within the department of infectious illnesses at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, informed McClatchy News.

“And what they found was that it actually reduced the risk of hospitalization by 89%,” she mentioned.

Here are 3 issues to find out about Paxlovid.

What is Paxlovid, and the way does it paintings?

Paxlovid is an antiviral treatment supposed to regard delicate to reasonable COVID-19, Dr. Michelle Hormozian, a scientific coordinator and pharmacist with the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, informed McClatchy News. It is composed of 2 other oral antivirals: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir.

“One of the medications [nirmatrelvir], it’s actually a COVID protease inhibitor, and what that means is it basically prevents viral replication of COVID,” Hormozian mentioned

The 2d drugs, ritonavir, works to dam the metabolism of the primary drug in order that the frame can care for enough ranges of nirmatrelvir to paintings correctly, Hormozian mentioned.

COVID-19 sure sufferers who’re prescribed Paxlovid will take it two times an afternoon for 5 days, in keeping with Hormozian.

Patients, relying on their scientific historical past and present medicines, will take one or two nirmatrelvir drugs and one ritonavir tablet, Vijayan mentioned.

Some possible negative effects of the drug would possibly come with an altered sense of style, disillusioned abdomen or diarrhea, larger blood drive or muscle aches, in keeping with Hormozian.

Who can take Paxlovid?

Paxlovid is supposed to be taken through COVID-19 sure sufferers who’re maximum in danger for hospitalization, Hormozian mentioned. Patients will have to take Paxlovid inside of 5 days in their symptom onset.

“So, it’s not used for prevention. It’s not used for patients who might have been exposed but are not testing positive or those who are asymptomatic,” Hormozian mentioned.

The drug is prescribed to those that are at upper possibility of progressing into extra serious COVID-19, Hormozian mentioned. Physicians will search for different problems that put sufferers at the next possibility, together with diabetes, power lung illness, like bronchial asthma, or being immunocompromised.

To be prescribed the medicine, a health care provider will glance over a affected person’s scientific historical past, together with inspecting what medicines the affected person is taking, to decide if the drug is a great are compatible for the affected person, in keeping with Hormozian.

To take Paxlovid, a affected person should be a minimum of 12 years previous and weigh greater than 40 kilograms, or about 88 kilos, Hormozian mentioned.

“But I would say younger individuals in general who are not taking any medications or don’t have any chronic medical conditions should not be taking Paxlovid,” Vijayan mentioned.

What about rebound COVID?

In some sufferers, physicians have noticed rebound COVID after completing their prescribed dosage of Paxlovid, Hormozian mentioned.

“Some patients are testing negative after finishing Paxlovid, and then later on, around day eight, testing positive again,” Hormozian mentioned.

Should a affected person check sure after finishing Paxlovid and really feel symptomatic, they will have to now not once more be prescribed Paxlovid, Vijayan mentioned.

“The primary goal of this medication is to prevent hospitalization,” Vijayan mentioned. “It’s not to actually reduce the days of symptoms that you have.”

Patients trying out sure once more will have to isolate, regardless that, Vijayan mentioned.

Despite the opportunity of rebound COVID, Vijayan urges sufferers to believe Paxlovid.

“It’s a really good drug, and people should not avoid it if they are at high risk of hospitalization,” she mentioned. “They shouldn’t avoid taking it because they’re worried about the rebound symptoms.”

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