FDA authorizes Pfizer's Covid antiviral pill for people 12 and older - TechCrunch

FDA authorizes Pfizers Covid antiviral pill for people 12 and

The FDA has issued emergency approval for Pfizer Paxlovid's antiviral pill, making it the first oral treatment for treating moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. The treatment is intended for high-risk people 12 and older who may progress to more dangerous COVID infection. The best part? The FDA says it could be available for use within a few days, making it another device while we are against the Omicron variable wave.

Paxlovid is available by prescription only, and is expected to be taken within five days of first noticing COVID symptoms. According to Pfizer tests, it can prevent hospitalization or death by 88 percent in high - risk patients. The treatment, which can be given to both vaccinated and non - vaccinated people, consists of 30 pills taken over five days. It contains the protein inhibitor nirmatrelvir and rotinavir, which keep that inhibitor from breaking down in your body. Side effects include an unbalanced sense of taste, high blood pressure, diarrhea and muscle aches.

“This authorization provides a new tool to combat COVID-19 at a critical time in the pandemic as new changes emerge and guarantee antiviral treatment. more accessible for high-risk patients to progress to true COVID-19, ”said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA's Drug Assessment and Research Center, said in a statement.

To date, the U.S. has prescribed enough pills to treat 10 million people, the The New York Times reports. The company expects to deliver enough pills to cover 65,000 Americans within a week. And after that, production is expected to ramp up, with 150,000 courses delivered in January and 150,000 in February. It's also not the only antiviral pill around: Merck's competitive treatment is expected to be approved soon, and it's likely to be more readily available than Pfizer's. Merck's choice is far from effective, however - tests show it can only prevent 30 percent from hospitalization or death. (However, that's better than untreated.)

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Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

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