What Doctors Wish Patients Knew About COVID ANTIVIRALS


Oral antivirals may help to reduce the symptoms of covid. The best results are achieved if the antivirals are prescribed as soon as possible and taken as directed, ideally no later than 5 days after symptoms begin. You can get them from your GP or nurse practitioner, as well as a pharmacist. Paxlovid or Lagevrio are the two most commonly prescribed medications. They can be taken as liquids or tablets at home. These drugs are on the Pharmaceutical Benefits scheme, making them more affordable and subsidised for those with medicare cards. 

One is remdesivir. This drug must be administered via intravenous infusion (drip) at a hospital or community clinic. The NHS offers a free treatment program for those who are at the highest risk of serious illness. The programme is called Vaccines and Antivirals for Severe Covid-19 Infection (VASCID). The programme provides a variety of medicines, including nirmatrelvir ritonavir, and remdesivir. It includes a neutralising antibody, called sotrovimab. This may be prescribed to people who cannot or are not suitable for other antiviral medications.

A new study shows that ensitrelvir, an antiviral drug, can reduce the length of time people are sick after taking Covid-19. This is the first time a drug has been able to reduce by a day how long people are sick with Covid-19 symptoms. People who are still in the early stages are more likely to develop long-lasting symptoms or other health problems later.

This is a promising development, but we don’t know how widespread it will be or what benefits it might have. It will be a challenge to get the medication into the hands and hearts of those who need it.

What Doctors Want Patients to Know is a series of the American Medical Association that allows physicians to communicate their expertise with the public on key health issues.

This week Elisa, MD, AMA member, discusses the latest on the omicron variant pandemic.

The omicron COVID-19 variant has spread rapidly since its appearance. Hospitals and communities have been under a great deal of strain.

The availability of oral treatments offers new hope. Last month, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral, Paxlovid–nirmatrelvir co-packaged with ritonavir–and Merck’s oral antiviral, Lagevrio–molnupiravir.

Oral medications can be taken at home in pill form. They should be taken as soon as possible, and within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.

The AMA launched a tool to help people determine if this is a good option for them. This tool can also assess your eligibility for the medications. You can find out if you are eligible for antivirals by using the COVID-19 Eligibility and Symptom Checker. This tool will help you reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill. The information is then sent to your GP, nurse practitioner or pharmacist who can prescribe the antivirals for you.

If you would like to speak with a Doctor who is an expert in the field or has Australian training, please contact us. Book an online Telehealth consultation. We are always here for you, 24/7. Contact info@clinicall.com.au.