The oral drug is for those with documented COVID-19 infection who are at risk for severe COVID-19, meaning those at risk for hospitalization and death. It’s not for those already in the hospital. The drug allegedly reduces hospitalization and death by ~90%. Potential users are aged 12 years and up. Pediatric patients must weigh at least 88 lb or 40 kg.
Paxlovid is a combination of nirmatrelvir (two 150 mg tablets) and ritonavir (100 mg tablet) by mouth twice daily for five days. The drug prevents viral replication.
Fierce Pharma says Paxlovid costs $529 per course.
The most common side effects seem to be altered taste, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and achy muscles (myalgias).
The drug should be taken within five days of symptom onset.
Prescribers should be aware of potential drug interactions, and there are many common drugs that cannot be used with Paxlovid. Use with caution, if at all, in those with liver or kidney disease. Patients with moderate kidney disease may need a dose reduction.
Steve Parker, M.D.