Yesterday U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms or about 88 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.
Paxlovid is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.
The issuance of an EUA is different than an FDA approval. In determining whether to issue an EUA, the FDA evaluates the totality of scientific evidence available and carefully balances any known or potential risks with any known or potential benefits of the product.
Based on the FDA’s review of the totality of the scientific evidence available, the agency has determined that it is reasonable to believe that Paxlovid may be effective for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in authorized patients.
“Today’s authorization introduces the first treatment for COVID-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally — a major step forward in the fight against this global pandemic,” said Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Under the EUA, fact sheets that provide important information about using Paxlovid in the treatment of COVID-19 as authorized must be made available to healthcare providers and to patients and caregivers. These fact sheets include dosing instructions, potential side effects, drug interactions and information about who is able to prescribe Paxlovid.
Learn more about FDA-approved or -authorized COVID-19 vaccines.
Image crediits: National News Bureau Of Thailand