10 Paxlovid Side Effects You Should Not Ignore
Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir) is an antiviral medication used for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 infection in patients aged 12 years and above who are at high risk for progression to severe illness. It is approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and is manufactured by Pfizer Inc.
Paxlovid is a combination of two antiviral drugs: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. Nirmatrelvir works by blocking a protein that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to reproduce itself, while ritonavir helps to increase the levels of nirmatrelvir in the body by blocking the enzyme that breaks it down.
Paxlovid is taken orally, typically as four pills twice a day for five days. It should be taken with food to help increase the absorption of the medication. It is important to take Paxlovid exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Paxlovid is not approved for the prevention of COVID-19 or for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients who require hospitalization or oxygen therapy. It is also not recommended for use in patients with severe renal or hepatic impairment or in patients taking certain medications, such as strong CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers.
It is important to note that Paxlovid is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 and its variants is to get vaccinated, continue to practice good hygiene, wear masks in crowded settings or when around people who are not vaccinated, and practice physical distancing when appropriate
10 Paxlovid Side Effects You Should Not Ignore
Paxlovid may cause side effects. While most side effects are mild and go away on their own, some may require medical attention. Here are ten Paxlovid side effects that you should not ignore:
1. Allergic reactions: Paxlovid may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, and rapid heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
2. Liver problems: Paxlovid may cause liver problems, such as hepatitis and liver failure. Symptoms of liver problems may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and dark urine. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider right away.
3. Kidney problems: Paxlovid may cause kidney problems, such as acute kidney injury. Symptoms of kidney problems may include decreased urine output, swelling in the legs or feet, and confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
4. Diarrhea: Paxlovid may cause diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common side effect of many medications and can usually be managed with over-the-counter remedies. If your diarrhea is severe or persistent, contact your healthcare provider.
5. Nausea and vomiting: Paxlovid may cause nausea and vomiting. Like diarrhea, these are common side effects of many medications and can usually be managed with over-the-counter remedies. If these symptoms are severe or persistent, contact your healthcare provider.
6. Headache: Paxlovid may cause headaches. Headaches are a common side effect of many medications and can usually be managed with over-the-counter remedies. If your headache is severe or persistent, contact your healthcare provider.
7. Dizziness: Paxlovid may cause dizziness. Dizziness is a common side effect of many medications and can usually be managed with over-the-counter remedies. If you experience severe or persistent dizziness, contact your healthcare provider.
8. Fatigue: Paxlovid may cause fatigue. Fatigue is a common side effect of many medications and can usually be managed with rest and self-care. If your fatigue is severe or persistent, contact your healthcare provider.
9. Rash: Paxlovid may cause a rash. Rashes are a common side effect of many medications and can usually be managed with over-the-counter remedies. If your rash is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.
10. Changes in heart rate: Paxlovid may cause changes in heart rate, such as a faster or slower heartbeat. If you experience any changes in your heart rate, contact your healthcare provider.
It’s important to note that these are not all the possible side effects of Paxlovid, and some people may experience different side effects. If you have any concerns about Paxlovid’s side effects, talk to your healthcare provider. They can provide you with more information and guidance on how to manage any side effects you may experience.
How To Prevent Paxlovid Side Effects
Paxlovid may cause side effects in some people. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of experiencing side effects while taking Paxlovid:
1. Follow your doctor’s instructions: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage and duration of treatment for your specific condition. Follow these instructions carefully to avoid any potential side effects.
2. Take Paxlovid with food: Paxlovid should be taken with food to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
3. Inform your doctor of any medical conditions: If you have any underlying medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, inform your doctor before taking Paxlovid. This will help them determine if Paxlovid is safe for you to take and if any dose adjustments are necessary.
4. Inform your doctor of any medications or supplements you are taking: Paxlovid may interact with other medications or supplements, leading to potential side effects. Inform your doctor of any other medications or supplements you are taking before starting treatment with Paxlovid.
5. Monitor for side effects: If you experience any side effects while taking Paxlovid, inform your doctor immediately. They may be able to adjust your dose or switch you to a different medication to minimize these side effects.
Remember to always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any new medication and to inform them of any preexisting medical conditions or medications/supplements you are taking.