When it comes to treating COVID-19, Paxlovid is currently the most effective medication available. Developed by Pfizer, this antiviral has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 89% in an initial study of unvaccinated patients. As a result, it is now being prescribed to a broader group of people, including those who are vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. Dr.
Priya Nori, an infectious disease doctor at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York, and professor at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, explains that even those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID could still benefit from taking Paxlovid. "Taking Paxlovid could help you recover faster, feel better faster, and potentially be less infectious faster," she says. Debra Poutsiaka, acting head of the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Tufts Medical Center, recommends Paxlovid to all eligible patients. Kenney also states that Paxlovid is currently the best treatment for COVID-19 because of its effectiveness and ease of use.
Paxlovid is authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (over 12 years of age who weigh at least 40 kilograms or about 88 pounds) who have positive direct viral tests for SARS-CoV-2, and who are at high risk of progression to even severe COVID-19.However, if you're vaccinated and boosted, you're young and healthy, you probably don't need Paxlovid and the virus will go away on its own. Dan Weissmann, a 54-year-old from Chicago who contracted COVID in April, tried three different routes to access Paxlovid but ultimately found it difficult to get a prescription. To make it easier for those who need it, the government has designated 2,300 health centers, urgent care clinics and pharmacies as testing sites for treatment. The most common side effects of Paxlovid are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and altered sense of taste.
It cannot be taken at the same time as some common supplements and medications such as statins and some birth control pills. Additionally, there is a one or two percent chance of experiencing a "Paxlovid rebound" which can occur in some patients after taking the medication. Ultimately, doctors must decide who should or should not receive Paxlovid based on their individual circumstances. Cohen from his office prescribes as soon as possible to patients who think they need it but cautions that the side effects can sometimes outweigh the benefits of taking the medication.
This is why it is only prescribed to people at high risk.