You may have heard about Paxlovid, an anti-viral tablet for COVID-19. Here are the key things to know:
• Most people with COVID-19 symptoms just need to self-isolate and rest, drink plenty of fluids and take analgesics such acetaminophen (as needed) for headaches, fevers or muscle aches. This information sheet answers many of the most common questions about COVID-19, including when to call the doctor’s office.
• Paxlovid is used to treat adults who have mild to moderate COVID symptoms and are at high risk of worsening to severe illness, where they might require hospitalization. Depending on your age, health, and vaccination status (see below*), it could be an option for you. See this factsheet and use this provincial screening tool to see if you might benefit from Paxlovid or other treatments. There are several factors to consider, including potential interactions with other drugs, so a discussion with your doctor/healthcare team is important.
• If you think you may qualify for treatment and have COVID-19 symptoms (even if mild), consider Paxlovid right away. Do not wait for your symptoms to become severe: treatment must be started within five days of your first symptoms. We can help determine next steps if you qualify according to this provincial screening tool. You can also book an appointment at the RVH COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic if you are unable to contact our office.
• Call 911 or go to the Emergency Department if you have severe symptoms, such as: you are short of breath while resting or if you are finding if harder and harder to breathe, have severe chest pain, are feeling confused or losing consciousness.
*You may be at higher risk if you are:
• over 18 years old and have a weakened immune system due to a health condition or medications
• over 70 years old (regardless of vaccination status)
• over 60 years old with fewer than three vaccine doses
• over 18 years old with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one of these risk conditions:
• heart disease
• congestive heart failure
• chronic respiratory disease (including cystic fibrosis)
• cerebral palsy
• intellectual or developmental disabilities
• sickle cell disease
• moderate or severe kidney disease
• moderate or severe liver disease
• pregnant and unvaccinated.