New COVID-19 therapy may be a game changer!
Canada’s first COVID-19 therapy that can be prescribed and taken at home is now approved for adults!
Until now, authorized treatments for COVID-19 have had to be administered intravenously in a hospital or healthcare setting. Pfizer’s Paxlovid™, however, consists of 3 pills, twice a day for 5 days. With our healthcare system overwhelmed amidst the current fourth wave of the pandemic, this may be a lifesaving “game changer”.
Paxlovid™, a combination of the two antiviral drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, works by stopping the COVID-19 virus from replicating. It is indicated in adults (18 years and older) with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of progressing to serious disease. This is based on the interim analysis of the EPIC-HR phase II/III randomized trial, where Paxlovid™ reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% compared to a placebo in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19. With these impressive results, Paxlovid™ may help alter the current trajectory of the pandemic.
Mostly importantly though, Paxlovid™ is not a substitute for vaccination, which remains the most effective tool in preventing serious illness from COVID-19 infection.