There is a White House website that helps people find COVID-19 antiviral pills. Who can get them?

COVID-19 antiviral pills.
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Earlier this month, the White House unveiled, a comprehensive website that serves as a centralized resource for information and services relating to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Other features of the new site include searchable data on COVID community levels and the option to request free testing. It also has a test-to-treat finder tool, which can be used to locate pharmacies and clinics that carry Pfizer and Merck’s COVID -19 antiviral pills.

Although President Joe Biden’s Test-to-Treat effort intends to speed the provision of COVID-19 antiviral pills to patients who require them, the procedure is not as straightforward as it appears at first glance. A prescription is required for antiviral medications, yet many of the pharmacies and supermarkets that offer the medications do not have on-site prescribing doctors. Also excluded from using the tablets are persons over the age of 65, as well as anyone who has underlying medical issues that make COVID-19 a more risky drug.

Continue reading to find out more about COVID-19 antiviral medications, as well as where you can drop off your prescriptions.

What is the Test-to-Treat localization tool, and how does it work?

The newly redesigned website makes it easier to locate locations where you can get tested and treated for COVID-19. More than 2,000 pharmacies and health facilities around the country are participating in the test-to-treat program, which provides both COVID testing and antiviral medications to treat the condition.

Providers are included on a map, and they are divided into two categories: locations that give COVID testing and drugs, and locations that fill prescriptions for antiviral tablets. Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, as well as supermarket shops that incorporate pharmacies such as Kroger and Safeway, are also good places to get treatment.

What are COVID-19 antiviral pills, and how do they work?

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized two antiviral medications to treat COVID-19: Paxlovid from Pfizer and Molnupiravir from Merck, which is marketed under the brand name Lagevrio. In December 2021, the FDA approved the use of both medications for emergency situations.

For five days, Paxlovid is taken as a three-pill regimen twice a day, and it is recommended for usage in persons aged 12 and above. Molnupiravir is prescribed as four tablets to be taken twice a day for five days and is only accessible to people over the age of 18. Molnupiravir is only available to individuals over the age of 18.

What is the mechanism of action of COVID-19 antiviral pills?

Paxlovid and molnupiravir, in contrast to vaccinations, which provide protection against COVID-19 by aiding in the production of antibodies that fight the virus, function by interfering with the virus’ capacity to reproduce, or copy, in the human body (paxlovid and molnupiravir). They do, however, function in various ways.

A combination of two medications known as protease inhibitors, including nirmatrelvir, a novel drug that inhibits the replication of COVID-19, and ritonavir, an old drug that slows the metabolism of nirmatrelvir by the liver, allowing it to be active in the body for a longer period of time. Each Paxlovid dosage comprises two nirmatrelvir pills and one ritonavir tablet, for a total of three tablets per dose.

In conjunction with one another, these medications operate to limit viral replication and lower the total viral load in the human body.

In contrast, Molnupiravir works by interfering with the virus’ capacity to reproduce in a precise manner. It works by interfering with an enzyme known as polymerase, which produces mistakes or mutations in the virus’ RNA.

Dr. Albert Shaw, an infectious disease specialist at Yale Medicine, explains that “when this RNA is translated into viral proteins, the viral proteins contain too many mutations for the virus to operate.” Dr. Shaw says that

What is the effectiveness of COVID-19 antiviral pills?

Paxlovid, a tablet developed by Pfizer, has shown significant effectiveness against severe COVID-19 illness in a combination of phase 2 and 3 clinical studies. If the tablet is given within five days of the onset of symptoms, it decreases the risk of hospitalization and mortality from COVID by 88 percent, according to the manufacturer.

In contrast, early data on Merck’s molnupiravir pill indicates less success: a study published in late 2021 predicted a 30 percent reduction in hospitalizations and fatalities associated with COVID-19.

Who is eligible to receive antiviral medicines for COVID-19?

Paxlovid has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by Americans aged 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds. If you are taking any other prescription medications, make sure to read the Paxlovid booklet for a list of medications that should not be used at the same time as Paxlovid. This list includes several cancer therapies and statins, among others.

A possible harmful impact on bone and cartilage growth has resulted in Molnupiravir being licensed for use only in individuals over the age of 18 years. It is also not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or want to get pregnant since it may cause damage to the foetus if used during pregnancy. Molnupiravir should not be used by women who are pregnant or nursing, as well.

If you test positive for COVID-19 at a testing and treatment center, even if you meet the eligibility requirements for either tablet, it does not guarantee that you will be prescribed one. The FDA permits pharmacies to provide COVID-19 vaccines and drugs; however, authorization for Paxlovid and molnupiravir are conditional on a prescription from a registered healthcare professional.

According to a Time magazine study, just 250 of the 3,100 Walgreens locations that offer COVID antiviral tablets have on-site suppliers who can prescribe the medication. Furthermore, according to NPR, just 10 percent of the 10,000 CVS pharmacies in the United States have on-site prescribers. It is necessary to make an appointment with a doctor or clinic within five days of discovering that you have COVID in order to obtain a prescription, and then return to get your pills. If you test positive for COVID at an over-the-counter location, you must see a doctor or clinic within five days of discovering that you have COVID.

To even qualify for a prescription for COVID-19 antiviral tablets, you must meet the criteria for “high risk” infection. Because of the high cost and limited availability of antiviral tablets, they are reserved for those who are most at risk of developing a serious disease as a result of COVID. Persons over the age of 65, as well as those with compromised immune systems or underlying diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, are at risk.

What is the best place to look for COVID-19 antiviral pills?

Visit the official website for the Test-to-Treat Locator tool. By entering an address or sharing your current location in the search box on the left, you may locate participating websites that sell antiviral medicines. The radius of your search may be adjusted using a slider, which ranges from 0 to 250 miles from the specified place.

Following a location search, the results are displayed on a map to the right and in more detail below the search. Virus medication suppliers are defined by neighborhood and separated into two categories: sites that sell antiviral pills and testing, as well as sites that fill antiviral pill prescriptions from doctors who specialize in treating viral infections. Participants in the latter category will not be able to provide therapy unless they have a prescription in hand.

best place to look for COVID-19 antiviral pills?

The test-to-treat locator tool offers links to make an appointment at the many pharmacies or health centers in its list of results, which may be accessed from the tool’s results page. To schedule an appointment with your preferred practitioner for testing and possibly antiviral treatment, click on the link provided.

What is the cost of COVID-19 antiviral pills?

For the time being, antiviral COVID medicines are available for no cost, but it is unclear if this will continue. Congress was unable to reach an agreement on additional funding for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In spite of the White House’s efforts to secure a continuation of COVID financing, money to provide testing and treatment for uninsured Americans expired on March 22, and money to refund vaccination claims expired on April 5.

Also Read:

Why Do Children’s COVID-Vaccine Results Differ From Adults?

Long COVID: The Majority of Patients Experience These Two Symptoms

Disclaimer: The material provided in this article is meant solely for educational and informative reasons and is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any doubts regarding a medical condition or your health objectives, always seek the advice of a physician or other certified healthcare practitioner.

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