If you recently tested positive for Covid-19, there are a few treatment options that can help reduce your symptoms. One is Paxlovid, an antiviral drug made by Pfizer, which was approved in December 2021. If you're 12 years of age or older and are at risk of Covid-related complications, it may work for you.
According to Pfizer's studies, Paxlovid has been found "highly effective in staving off severe disease when given to high-risk patients early in the course of a coronavirus infection."
Paxlovid is a combination of two different drugs, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. According to the Food and Drug Administration, nirmatelvir inhibits a SARS-CoV-2 protein to stop the virus from replicating, and ritonavir helps the nirmatelvir stay in the body longer. Three tablets are taken twice daily, a total of 30 pills taken over five days.
The drug, like all Covid-19 vaccinations on the market, has received emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Doctors in the state of Florida can prescribe Paxlovid to patients who don't have risk of possible interactions with other drugs or diseases such as severe kidney or liver impairment.
Side effects can include impaired sense of taste, diarrhea, high blood pressure and muscle aches. According to emergency use authorization guidelines, fact sheets with information such as dosing, side effects and drug interactions must be made available to healthcare providers, patients and caregivers. For those fact sheets, click here.
Since the treatment is in pill form and can be taken at home, it makes for a much more convenient treatment option. If you have Covid, the treatment must be started right away to reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death.
If your doctor does prescribe Paxlovid, there are a few pharmacies in Sarasota-Manatee that distribute the drug, according to a map from the Florida Department of Health. It's also been announced that 35 pharmaceutical companies worldwide have agreed to make generic versions of the Pfizer medication.
2811 Clark Rd., Sarasota, (941) 921-5781
6204 14th St. W., Bradenton, (941) 755-3716
3901 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 926-2522
391 Tamiami Trail S., Venice, (941) 244-1977
1009 N. Sumter Blvd., North Port, (941) 426-5083
3500 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 444-8410
6225 E. State Rd. 64, Bradenton, (941) 708-2800
6310 Health Park Way, Suite 130, Bradenton, (941) 907-1500
1505 26th Ave. E., Bradenton, (941) 753-7843
2020 59th St. W., Bradenton, (941) 792-6611
Advance Care Pharmacy
7016 US Hwy. 301 N., Ellenton, (941) 212-6666
8324 US Hwy. 301 N., Parrish, (941) 444-2233
13221 Tamiami Trail, North Port, (941) 426-1123
For a list of local Covid-19 testing and vaccination sites, click here.