Treatment Options for COVID-19 Infection

Treatment is available for those at high risk for severe infection. Starting these treatments quickly after you begin to experience symptoms can help you avoid becoming extremely ill or even hospitalized. The oral medication, Paxlovid, is the first line therapy; monoclonal antibodies are available for those who cannot take Paxlovid.

You may be eligible to be treated with one of these therapies if you have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19, you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, and are:

  • Age 65 and older
  • Have chronic lung disease
  • Diabetic
  • Have cardiovascular disease
  • On dialysis
  • Overweight (BMI greater than 25)
  • Immunocompromised, including the following conditions:
    • Primary immunodeficiency
    • Active chemotherapy
    • Transplant
    • Biologic immunomodulators/immunosuppressive drugs
    • HIV with uncontrolled viral load
    • Taking high dose steroids 20 mg/day at least two weeks)
    • Pregnant

Check the CDC website for details about these conditions and other conditions that may qualify.

Oral Anti-Viral Medication

The first line of defense is a medication called Paxlovid, which is available under Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA.

  • Paxlovid must be started within five days of the onset of symptoms.
  • It is approved for people age 12 and older or who weigh at least 40 kg and meet the eligibility criteria listed above.
  • There are multiple drug interactions. These interactions are listed in the EUA and should be discussed with your provider.
  • Data shows that Paxlovid decreased risk of hospitalization and death by 88% if started within 5 days of onset of symptoms.

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy

A one-time infusion of monoclonal antibodies is the second option for patients at high risk for severe infection who are not a candidate for the oral medication Paxlovid.

  • Treatment must begin within 7 days of the onset of symptoms.
  • It is approved for people age 12 and older or who weigh at least 40 kg and meet the eligibility criteria listed above.
  • Like Paxlovid, monoclonal antibody treatment decreases the risk of hospitalization or death by nearly 90%.

Talk with your doctor to see if treatment is right for you

If you have a Henry Ford doctor, please ask your doctor to submit an Epic order for Paxlovid or to be assessed for monoclonal antibody treatment (all physicians can use the Referring Physician Office to place orders).

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