As the world continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic, medical professionals are constantly searching for new treatments and preventative measures to help reduce the spread of the virus. One such treatment is Paxlovid, an oral antiviral pill that can be taken at home to help prevent high-risk patients from getting so sick that they need to be hospitalized. Paxlovid is the main oral medication for preventing severe cases of COVID-19 in people at high risk. If your coronavirus test comes back positive and a healthcare provider prescribes a prescription, you can take the pills at home and reduce your risk of going to the hospital.
However, symptoms returned in some patients after treatment ended, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a health advisory about this so-called “COVID-19 spike.” The CDC recommends that people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk of developing severe symptoms should take Paxlovid as soon as possible. High-risk individuals include those over 65 years old, those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, and those with weakened immune systems. Paxlovid works by blocking the virus from replicating in the body. It is taken orally in pill form and is usually prescribed for a two-week course.
The medication is generally well tolerated, but some people may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or headaches. It is important to talk to your doctor about any side effects you may experience while taking Paxlovid. It is important to note that Paxlovid is not a cure for COVID-19 and does not prevent you from getting infected with the virus. It is only meant to reduce the severity of symptoms if you do become infected.
It is also important to remember that even if you take Paxlovid, you should still practice social distancing, wear a face mask when out in public, and wash your hands frequently to help prevent the spread of the virus.