Health Canada Just Approved At-Home Antiviral Pills For Eligible People With COVID-19

It's Canada's first COVID-19 therapy that can be taken at home.👇

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Health Canada Just Approved At-Home Antiviral Pills For Eligible People With COVID-19

Health Canada has approved the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 antiviral treatment PAXLOVID, which it says is the "first COVID-19 therapy that can be taken at home."

In a statement on Monday, January 17, the federal agency announced that the prescription-only medication had been authorized to treat adults with mild to moderate COVID-19, who are at risk of progressing to hospitalization or death.

Pfizer's PAXLOVID is a combination of the two antiviral drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. According to Health Canada, it works by stopping COVID-19 from replicating in the body.

"PAXLOVID™ is the first COVID-19 therapy that can be taken at home," the notice reads, as authorized medications for COVID-19 previously had to be taken in a health care setting in Canada.

It is intended for use "as soon as possible" after an eligible person has tested positive for COVID-19 and within five days of the start of symptoms.

Those taking the treatment will orally take two nirmatrelvir tablets and one ritonavir tablet together twice per day, for five days.

Because PAXLOVID could cause interactions with other medications, Health Canada says all patients "should discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with their healthcare provider."

Health Canada has been conducting an expedited review of the treatment since December 1, 2021.

In a statement, a senior official from Pfizer Canada said, "As our healthcare system and hospitals face significant pressures in this ongoing pandemic, this new treatment will provide a new option in the management of COVID-19."

They added that the company is "ready to begin delivering the product across Canada," following an agreement with the Government of Canada to supply one million treatment courses of PAXLOVID in 2022.

While this is great news for Canadians, the feds say it should not be seen as a substitute for getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Vaccination remains the most important tool in preventing serious illness from COVID-19 infection," the notice reads, adding that health officials continue to "strongly recommend vaccination for all eligible Canadians."

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

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