Some people experience a ‘Paxlovide recovery’ after taking the antiviral pill for COVID-19.  Here’s what you should know.

Some people experience a ‘Paxlovide recovery’ after taking the antiviral pill for COVID-19. Here’s what you should know.

Some people experience a ‘Paxlovide recovery’ after taking the antiviral pill for COVID-19. Here’s what you should know.

Some people experience a ‘Paxlovide recovery’ after taking the antiviral pill for COVID-19.  Here’s what you should know.

Paxlovid is Pfizer’s antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19. (Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay/Illustration)

Yahoo News explains.  Check out the latest.

When the antiviral drug Paxlovid was approved in 2021 for the treatment of COVID-19, doctors began to notice a puzzling trend among some patients taking the drug: cases of viral recovery. After treatment, some people would recover and test negative for the virus, only to have it come back positive or have their symptoms return a few days later. The “Paxlovid rebound,” as it’s known, received a lot of media attention when President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, experienced this last year after taking the drug.

Scientists aren’t sure why this rebound effect occurs when taking Paxlovid, but here are a few things we do know.

What is Paxlovid? How does it work?

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral pill that can be prescribed to people who have contracted COVID-19 and are at risk of developing a serious illness. These can be individuals who have not been vaccinated, the elderly or people with other health problems, such as cancer or diabetes. The drug, developed by Pfizer, may protect these high-risk patients from requiring hospitalization. Those who have been vaccinated but are at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 may also benefit from taking Paxlovid.

US regulatory authorities granted emergency use approval for Paxlovid in December 2021. Today, the drug is available only with a prescription from a doctor or pharmacist. Anyone 12 years of age and older who weighs at least 88 pounds and is at high risk for serious illness is eligible for the medication. However, patients with severe kidney disease — or who are on dialysis — or people with severe liver disease should not take Paxlovid. The drug may also interact with other drugs such as those used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure and migraines, so patients taking these drugs should avoid taking Paxlovide.

Like many antiviral drugs, Paxlovid works best when taken early in the disease. The CDC recommends starting treatment within the first five days of symptoms. Once a person is prescribed the drug, they will take three Paxlovide tablets twice a day for five days for a full cycle of up to 30 tablets.

Antiviral therapy consists of a combination of two oral antiviral drugs — nirmatrelvir and ritonavir — that work together to stop the process of viral replication. By reducing a person’s viral load, the drug reduces the severity of symptoms.

IN Clinical trials, which were conducted when the Delta variant was dominant, found that Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in high-risk people. Since its approval, many clinical studies conducted worldwide have also confirmed the drug’s high level of protection against hospitalization and death.

With Omicron as a variant with high resistance to immunity that appeared many antibody treatments ineffective, vaccine experts are concerned that Paxlovid will also lose its effectiveness. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. According to recent research, the drug continues to provide significant protection against hospitalization and death, and may also offer substantial benefit even to vaccinated patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Other studies, however, found no evidence of benefit from Paxlovid persons under 65 years of age.

“I don’t think we should be pushing Paxlovid on every 20-year-old who gets COVID or every healthy 35-year-old,” said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of public health and epidemiology at Northwell Health, the largest health system in New York state. is for Yahoo News. “But in those who are at high risk, those who are older, who have not been vaccinated, those who have comorbidities, those who are immunosuppressed, [for] those people [it] can make a significant difference,” he added.

In addition to preventing high-risk patients from becoming seriously ill, Paxlovid can reduce the risk of long-term COVID symptomsa study conducted by the Ministry of Defense showed.

What is Paxlovid rebound?

The CDC defines a Paxlovid rebound as when, after completing the full five-day course of treatment, a person experiences a recurrence of symptoms or tests positive after being negative for COVID-19. According to the CDC, this backfires occurs between two and eight days after the initial recovery. But if you experience recovery, the agency said, it does not mean that the person was resistant to Paxlovid, nor does it mean that they have been reinfected with the virus. Additionally, the CDC said that cases of Paxlovid relapse are usually mild, resolve within a few days, and there is no evidence that additional treatments are needed for these patients.

Despite Paxlovid’s effectiveness even in the Omicron setting, the drug is underused in the US and other parts of the world. According to a report by London-based health analytics firm Airfinity, American doctors prescribed the drug in only about 13% of new cases of COVID-19, Nature recently announced. Experts say that concern over the possible return of Paxlovid is one of the reasons why this is happening.

Farber also said another reason Paxlovid is underused is related to the virus itself.

“This virus is much less virulent even though it is more contagious,” he said, adding that the need for Paxlovid “has become less.”

Scientists are still studying why this rebound effect occurs when taking Paxlovid, and who is more likely to experience it. However, recent research has found that recovery can occur in people who develop COVID-19 and are not taking Paxlovid. Research is underway to understand why this happens, Farber said.

“Recent data suggest that recovery also occurs in people who recover from COVID who did not receive Paxlovid, and occurs at probably similar rates whether you are taking Paxlovid or not,” Farber said, adding that cases of relapse after taking the drug was initially thought to occur in approximately 5% of cases, but research has shown that may happen more often than first thought. “Recent articles say it may be common in 10 or 15% of cases,” he said.

What to do if you experience Paxlovide withdrawal

If someone’s symptoms return or they test positive after treatment with Paxlovide, the CDC advises to follow up instructions for insulation and quarantine again for five days. Isolation may end after this period if the person has no fever for 24 hours without the use of antipyretic drugs. The agency also recommends wearing a mask for 10 days after the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

The CDC encourages doctors and patients to report Paxlovide relapses Pfizer portal for drug-related side effects.

Finally, Farber said recovery from Paxlovid is still fairly uncommon and shouldn’t deter people and their doctors from using the life-saving drug when needed.

“In theory, this could prolong their isolation. But I think [people] should realize that this can happen even without Paxlovid. So it becomes a really irrelevant difference whether they realize it or not,” he said.


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