FDA approves first COVID treatment pill
December 23, 2021
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) of the first antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 at home. Called Paxlovid, it is intended for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older).
Paxlovid is made by Pfizer. It's taken twice a day for five days in combination with a second medicine called ritonavir, a generic antiviral. It is the first treatment for COVID-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally.
Who can use Paxlovid?
The current guidelines for use of Paxlovid are:
- Adults and children who are 12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kg)
- With a confirmed COVID-19 infection
- Within five days of symptoms onset
- Who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, irrespective of vaccination status (for example: Immune-compromised, cancer, multiple advanced medical comorbidities, >60 years old)
Availability at ARC
As of now, we have been informed that it will take a few days to a couple of weeks before Paxlovid is shipped by the manufacturer and before it will become available for prescribing. ARC doctors will begin prescribing Paxlovid as soon as it becomes available in our community.
In the meantime…
Please continue taking all precautions against COVID-19, including vaccination and booster shot, masking when inside and when in crowded outdoor situations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.
If you need a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, they are available at ARC by appointment. Book a COVID vaccine or booster appointment online.
If you need a COVID-19 test, they are available at ARC by appointment. Book a COVID test online.
Current treatment. Monoclonal antibody treatment is currently available in the Austin area. If you are at elevated risk of severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization, ask your physician about this treatment.
Still have questions? Visit our COVID-19 FAQ page for answers.