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November 10 2022

Paxlovid COVID-19 Treatment

A new study published in medRxiv found that patients treated for COVID-19 with Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral drug had a 26% lower risk of experiencing long COVID. Researchers analyzed medical records of more than 56,000 patients who had at least one risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness. The study has yet to be peer reviewed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines long COVID as long-term symptoms lasting weeks, months or longer from infection with COVID-19. There is current no test to diagnose post-COVID conditions, making it difficult for doctors to recognize and treat patients.

Paxlovid is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2021 for treatment of acute COVID-19 illness in people with one or more risk factors for progression to severe disease. The medication is taken within five days of testing positive.

“This is the first study to show improvement in long-term outcomes after Paxlovid—including less Long Covid, deaths, hospitalizations and complications—is a major advance,” said physician-scientist Eric Topol.

The treatment is not without criticism. Some doctors are careful to recommend the treatment, as it can have serious interactions with medications for cardiovascular disease.

A paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently found that interactions between Paxlovid and certain blood thinners, cholesterol medications and blood pressure medications increase risk for bleeding, low blood pressure and swelling.

As new treatments and therapies are developed to treat or help prevent COVID-19 infections, it’s important to stay knowledgeable about the options and risk factors for your personal health before taking medication. It’s best to work with your doctor to identify the right medication and prevention method for you.

The CDC recommends everyone ages 6 months and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 5 years and older receive the updated (bivalent) booster dose.

 

Source:

Paxlovid May Reduce Risk of Long Covid in Eligible Patients, Study Finds”. New York Times. 7 November 2022.

Nirmatrelvir and the Risk of Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19” medRxiv. 3 November 2022.

Covid-19 treatment Paxlovid can interact with common heart medications, doctors warn.” CNN. 12 October 2022.

Finally, there is a glimmer of hope for long COVID treatment.” LiveMint.com. 7 November 2022