Paxlovid is an oral COVID antiviral that treats disease quickly and prevents serious symptoms from developing. Surprisingly, the government hasn’t done a great job of letting the public know about it, so a lot of people don’t know about it.
As COVID cases increase nationwide, it’s important for people to be aware of this, especially if they are at higher risk for complications. Here’s what you need to know.
Paxlovid was made by Pfizer and it is a combination of two compounds: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. One blocks a COVID enzyme that allows the virus to replicate while the other blocks our own enzymes that would prevent this from happening. These compounds are not new, having been used in drugs against HIV.
One important thing to know about this medication is that it should be taken within 5 days of the onset of symptoms. For it to work, people need to look for it as soon as they think they have COVID.
According to the CDC, the drug is approved for a variety of people, all of whom must be at least 12 years old and weigh at least 88 pounds. Specifically, it is allowed for people with diseases such as cancer, chronic diseases, diabetes, overweight, smokers, etc.
It is a very accessible drug, although it requires a prescription for people to buy it. The acquisition process works differently depending on your state, but some allow people to take a COVID test at a pharmacy and get their Paxlovid prescriptions right away or even facilitate home delivery of the drug.
Although Paxlovid is FDA approved and considered safe, there are a few risks associated with it. It can interact with other medications, so it’s important to ask your doctor about any possible drug interactions and their risks. Side effects are rare, but they include muscle pain, diarrhea, increased blood pressure and more.
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