The first treatment for people who get Covid-19 will soon be available. These are pills developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer: Paxlovid.
Paxlovid is the trade name for Pfizer’s antiviral. This will reduce by 89% the hospitalizations and the risk of death caused by the disease.
The treatment consists of three pills daily for five days from the first day of symptoms or a positive test. However, it should always be taken with a prescription.
The drug works by preventing the virus from replicating within the human cell. It is not recommended for people with kidney, liver problems or whilst pregnant.
Pfizer’s antiviral blocks the activity of a specific enzyme that coronavirus needs to replicate in the infected body, in a mechanism very similar to that of other pharmaceutical companies that are already being administered in some countries, such as the United States or Canada.
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced the purchase of 344,000 oral antivirals manufactured by Pfizer. These have been recommended by the European Medicines Agency to prevent the most serious cases.
In most cases, Paxlovid is recommended for adult patients who do not need supplemental oxygen, but who do have a higher risk of progressing to severe disease.
The two active ingredients of the drug are available in separate tablets that should be taken together twice a day for five days. These two principles are PF-07321332 and ritonavir.
The most common side effects reported during treatment were disgust, diarrhea, and vomiting.