One of the knocks against using nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (Paxlovid) to treat patients with SARS-CoV-2 has been that it could send patients running to the emergency room, and possibly face hospitalization, for rebound COVID-19. It’s enough to discourage some people from taking it, even if they’re high risk for poor outcomes with COVID. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, those patients should be more concerned about the consequences of not taking the antiviral. In fact, according to the CDC, “When administered as an early-stage treatment, Paxlovid might prevent COVID-19–related hospitalization among persons with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at risk for progression to severe disease.” Looking at 5,287 patients with COVID-19, the researchers found less than 1% of patients who received Paxlovid needed to be hospitalized or even visit the ED. On the other hand, six COVID patients who were not treated with Paxlovid had to be hospitalized—and two of them died. Another 39 visited the ED due to symptoms related to COVID.
Patients May Have Heard Paxlovid Increases Risk for Rebound COVID. Data Suggest Otherwise