The FDA has authorized two different antiviral pills to help treat COVID-19: Paxlovid and Lagevrio. Taking them early on in a COVID-19 diagnosis (early intervention) can dramatically shift the course of the disease. Here’s the latest from GoodRx on these potentially life-saving pills and where to find them:
What is Paxlovid?
In late December 2021, the FDA granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) after clinical trials showed it cut the risk of hospitalization and death for people at high risk of severe COVID-19 by nearly 90%.
Paxlovid is authorized for eligible adults and children age 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds. You would take 3 pills (2 nirmatrelvir pills and 1 ritonavir pill) by mouth twice a day for 5 days. You should start taking the pills within the first 5 days of feeling COVID-19 symptoms.
In studies, Paxlovid interacted with many common medications.
Paxlovid is the first-choice recommendation for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of hospitalization or death, according to the National Institutes of Health treatment guidelines.
What is Lagevrio?
Lagevrio (molnupiravir) is an oral antiviral pill from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Clinical trials showed it cut the risk of hospitalization and death by about 30% among high-risk adults in the earliest stages of COVID-19.
Like Paxlovid, it should be started within the first 5 days of feeling COVID-19 symptoms. You would take 4 capsules of Lagevrio by mouth every 12 hours for 5 days.
Unlike Paxlovid, Lagevrio is only authorized for adults age 18 and older. It’s not known to interact with any medications, but further studies are needed to confirm this.