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Taking Paxlovid? Here’s What To Know About This Antiviral Drug For COVID

BuzzFeedNews: “…Paxlovid is used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID in adults and kids ages 12 and older who test positive for the coronavirus and face high risks for hospitalization and death. People at high risk include those who are unvaccinated or who have cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, neurodevelopmental disorders, asthma, and more. The full treatment consists of three pills taken together twice a day for five days. You must start the treatment as soon after your COVID diagnosis as possible, and definitely within the five days since your symptoms started. Waiting too long means you miss a window of opportunity and it may not work as well or at all. To get Paxlovid, you’ll need a prescription from your doctor. You shouldn’t take the drug before a COVID exposure or after to prevent an infection (unless you are COVID positive), or if you are already hospitalized with severe illness. Two of the three pills you take consist of nirmatrelvir, which blocks the coronavirus from making copies of itself. The third pill is ritonavir, which helps nirmatrelvir stay in your body for a longer period at high concentrations. Like any drug, Paxlovid has side effects, one of the most common being a weird, metallic taste in your mouth. Others include diarrhea, high blood pressure, and muscle aches. If you have either uncontrolled/undiagnosed HIV or liver or kidney disease, you should not take Paxlovid. Paxlovid can also have potentially harmful interactions when combined with other medications, including some blood thinning drugs, such as warfarin; antidepressants like bupropion and trazodone; herbal products like St. John’s wort; antibiotics like erythromycin; and others…”

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