Oral antiviral medications are pills prescribed by a health care provider that can be taken at home.
Oral antiviral medications are not a cure. However, they may help keep symptoms from becoming more serious in people at the highest risk from COVID-19. They may also help shorten the amount of time you are sick from COVID-19 and/or keep you from needing to be in the hospital.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized these medications for Emergency Use.
Certain people who are COVID-19-positive and meet very strict FDA criteria may qualify for these medications on a case-by-case basis. Please talk to your health care provider.
The antiviral medications may be appropriate for people who are within their first five days of symptoms from COVID-19 and who are not in the hospital, but who are more likely to become seriously ill. This includes older people and those with chronic health conditions like heart disease, cancer or diabetes that make them more vulnerable. Both medications are approved for adults and Paxlovid is authorized for children ages 12 and older.
Talk with your health care provider to determine if Molnupiravir or Paxlovid is an appropriate treatment option for you. If you don’t have a provider or have trouble reaching your provider, please call 302-428-2400, click option 3 and our team can help with navigating treatment.
Antiviral medications help your body fight off viruses that cause disease, reduce the symptoms of an infection and shorten the length of illness. It’s important to note that these medications are meant to be taken after you’ve experienced COVID-19 symptoms. They cannot be used to prevent COVID-19 or in people who test positive for COVID-19 but do not have symptoms.
The safety of these medications was studied before their Emergency Use Authorizations and are considered safe for patients who meet certain criteria. The following advisories were issued:
Paxlovid cannot be used in patients with severe liver or kidney disease. It also can have serious interactions with various medications, so you should always tell your health care provider about other medications or supplements that you may be taking.
Molnupiravir is only authorized for adults because it may affect bone and cartilage growth. The medication is generally discouraged during pregnancy as well.