Paxlovid effectively reduces risks of hospitalization and death in Omicron infection

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In a study from Public Health Ontario and elsewhere, scientists found nirmatrelvir–ritonavir (Paxlovid) strongly reduced the likelihood of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 in people at risk of severe illness.

The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of nirmatrelvir–ritonavir in preventing severe illness during the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The researchers looked at data on adults with mild disease who tested positive for COVID-19 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test between April 4 and August 31, 2022.

They compared 8876 patients treated with nirmatrelvir–ritonavir with 168 669 who were not treated. Most patients were older than 70 years, were vaccinated and had potential drug–drug interactions.

A previous study before the emergence of the Omicron variant had found nirmatrelvir–ritonavir to be effective at treating patients.

In the current study, the team found that for every 62 people treated with nirmatrelvir–ritonavir, the medication prevented 1 case of severe COVID-19.

The findings support the effectiveness of nirmatrelvir–ritonavir at reducing hospital admission from COVID-19 and all-cause death.

This study highlights the importance of testing for SARS-CoV-2 if people have symptoms, and access to Paxlovid for those at risk for severe COVID-19.

The team says if you test positive for COVID-19, are over 60 years of age, or if you have other risk factors for severe infection, such as chronic medical conditions or are under-vaccinated, contact your health care provider or pharmacy within 5 days of symptoms starting and ask about Paxlovid.

If you care about Covid, please read studies about hand size linked to risk of severe COVID-19, and Vitamin D level could determine COVID-19 severity.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about warnings about widely used diabetes drug metformin, and results showing the best time to take high blood pressure drugs.

The study was conducted by Dr. Kevin Schwartz et al and published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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