The research looked at patients who qualified for the antiviral through age or health conditions. Those who took it shortly after infection were 26 percent less likely to have symptoms 90 days later.
By Pam Belluck
People who took the antiviral drug Paxlovid within a few days after being infected with the coronavirus were less likely to be experiencing long Covid several months later, a large new study found.
The findings suggest that for people who are medically eligible for the antiviral — older adults or people with certain health problems — Paxlovid not only reduces the odds that they will be hospitalized or die from a coronavirus infection, but also lowers their risk of long-term symptoms.
“The results are quite provocative and suggest that further investigation of antiviral agents and their effects on long Covid is urgently needed,” said Dr. Michael Peluso, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the new research.
The study, which was published online without undergoing peer review, does not indicate whether antivirals might be beneficial for other patients, like younger people or those without high-risk medical conditions. And it does not give any inkling whether Paxlovid might be a treatment for long Covid itself, a question being investigated by other researchers.