There are two antiviral medications that have been issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. FDA: Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir. Both treatments are in very limited supply, and a prescription does not guarantee the medication will be available.
Paxlovid is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in people who are 12 years and older, weigh at least 40 kilograms (kg), have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death among patients with COVID-19 by 88% compared to placebo.
Molnupiravir is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults 18 and older who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate. Molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death among patients with COVID-19 by 30% compared to placebo.
Both medications are available by prescription only. Treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset. Please speak with your healthcare provider to learn more about these treatments.
Antiviral medication for COVID-19 is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination and a booster dose are recommended. Click here for more information on COVID-19 treatment.