FDA Authorizes First Anti-Viral Pills for COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets), the first oral treatment for COVID-19.

The pill can be used to treat mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease in adults and pediatric patients who are 12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) who test positive for COVID and are at high risk of hospitalization or death.

Paxlovid is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID and within five days of symptom onset.

Prescribers should be aware of the potential for significant drug interactions and contraindications for use with certain drugs. In addition, Paxlovid is not recommended in patients with severe kidney or severe liver impairment. In patients with moderate renal impairment, a reduced Paxlovid dose is needed.

Louisiana has received a very limited number of Paxlovid regimens. These pills have been allocated to a small number of independent pharmacies across the state. If you feel you may be a good candidate for the treatment, contact your provider or medical professional.