Paxlovid is now authorised to be used in hospitals as a first-line treatment for Covid 19. This change means other potential options for treatment like remdesivir, an injectable antiviral must only be used as a secondary treatment option. If necessary, monoclonal antibody infusion treatment, sotrovimab, can be used as a third option.
Paxlovid fights the virus by blocking a protease which enables the formation of biological viruses in the target host cells. It is produced and sold as a five-day course of antiviral pills. Studies show the Pfizer product can lower the hospitalisation and mortality rate by up to 88%.
“Paxlovid is now authorised to be used in hospitals as a first-line treatment for Covid 19“
Fiona Marra, an infectious disease pharmacist, explained that “A five-day course means it has many more options to use than in HIV, such as stopping and restarting medications like statins. The individual patient management of this drug interaction is an area that should entirely be led by pharmacists and is absolutely within our skill set to do so.”
The UK Health Secretary also added: “We will set out further details on access to the new antiviral soon — until then, anyone who is eligible who tests positive for COVID-19 and has symptoms should sign up to the PANORAMIC trial for the chance to receive our other antiviral, molnupiravir.”
According to figures, the UK has bought almost 5 million courses of Covid 19 treatment- this includes 2.75 million Paxlovid and just over 2.2 million molnupiravir.
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