PAXLOVID is an investigational medicine indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and children (age 12 and above and weighing at least 40kgs) who test positive and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. PAXLOVID is currently considered investigational as it is still being studied and evaluated by the FDA. PAXLOVID is available at local pharmacies at no cost with a prescription. 

PAXLOVID consists of 2 medications, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. Patients must take 2 tablets of nirmatrelvir with 1 tablet of ritonavir by mouth twice daily (morning and evening) for a duration of 5 days. PAXLOVID must be taken whole and the tablets may not be chewed, broken or crushed. It may be taken with or without food. If a dose of PAXLOVID is missed within 8 hours of the time it is usually taken, take it as soon as possible. However, if a dose is missed by more than 8 hours, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regular time. It is not recommended to take 2 doses of PAXLOVID at the same time.

Possible side effects of PAXLOVID include allergic reactions which may occur even after only 1 dose. Patients should stop taking PAXLOVID right away if any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction occur: hives, trouble swallowing or breathing, swelling of the mouth, lips, or face, throat tightness, and/or skin rash. Other possible side effects include an altered sense of taste, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and muscle aches. As PAXLOVID is still being studied, these may not be all the possible side effects of the medication. 

Patients with a past medical history of liver problems should also speak to their healthcare provider prior to starting PAXLOVID. Typical signs and symptoms of liver problems include; loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark-colored urine, pale-colored stools, and itchy skin, and abdominal pain. 

This content was originally provided by Sadaf Karimi, PharmD candidate 2021.