Multiple outpatient treatment options for COVID-19, including Paxlovid™May. 16, 2022, 4:23 PM
Multiple Outpatient Treatment Options for COVID-19, Including Paxlovid™
Currently, there are now several options for treating outpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19. These available medications help reduce patients’ chances of being hospitalized or dying from the virus. VUMC employees should familiarize themselves with these options to help educate themselves, their loved ones, and their patients about their availability.
Making use of these treatment options will be a powerful tool in keeping COVID-positive patients out of the hospital, making beds available for the types of patients for whom Vanderbilt is uniquely suited to care, including trauma, complex surgeries and high acuity.
These treatments are available for people who test positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk of getting more serious symptoms, including older adults (ages 50 years or older, with risk increasing with older age), people who are unvaccinated, and people with certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system.
An overview of outpatient treatment guidance is available on the COVID-19 website, along with more in-depth information.
Paxlovid™ is an antiviral treatment used in adults and children ages 12 years and older. It is taken at home by mouth (orally). It should be started as soon as possible after confirmed positivity and symptom onset. Treatment must begin within 5 days of when COVID symptoms start.
Paxlovid™ interacts with some medications (such as certain cholesterol-lowering, blood thinner, and immune suppressing medications), so a discussion with your healthcare clinician should occur prior to prescribing to assess if medication adjustment or alternative COVID-19 treatments are necessary.
Paxlovid™ requires a prescription. Any licensed healthcare clinician can prescribe the medication, but it is only available at certain pharmacies. All locations of the Vanderbilt Health Clinics at Walgreens and currently three Vanderbilt Health Walk-In Clinics (Bellevue, Belle Meade, and Belcourt) are “Test to Treat” sites and may have Paxlovid™ available on site. For additional details on these clinic locations and hours, please see https://www.myhealthwalkin.com/.
Two great discussions were recently hosted by VUMC’s chief epidemiologist Tom Talbot, MD regarding Paxlovid™, including an in-depth discussion with pharmacist Ben Ereshefsky, PharmD, and another with Chief Medical Officer Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD.
Monoclonal Antibody Infusions
For those who cannot take Paxlovid™, the monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19 remain an option. This treatment used in high-risk adults and adults and children ages 12 years and older. These infusions are by appointment only in one of our specialized clinics. Treatment with a monoclonal antibody must be given within 10 days of when COVID-19 symptoms start. For more information about, monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19, please see our website at https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/monoclonal-antibodies-covid-19.
Another antiviral medication for COVID-19 is named Lagevrio™ and is available for adults, 18 years and older. It is taken at home by mouth (orally). It should be started as soon as possible after confirmed positivity and symptom onset. Treatment must begin within 5 days of when your symptoms start. At VUMC, Lagevrio™ is considered an alternative for those who cannot take Paxlovid™ or the monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19.
Additional pharmacies and healthcare facilities with outpatient COVID-19 therapies may be found using the COVID-19 Therapeutics Locator (NOTE: If Paxlovid™ is available based on the link above, please call the pharmacy to confirm availability).