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Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral pill Paxlovid may be risky when mixed with other pills

Posted: Monday, December 27, 2021. 3:24 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized two COVID-19 antiviral pills, Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir, but these pills cannot be given to anyone nor be mixed with any medication without expert advice, according to NBC News.

Paxlovid can be given to patients as young as 12 who have underlying conditions and have a high-risk of hospitalization, however Paxlovid, when mixed with blood thinners, statins (drugs that lower cholesterol), and some antidepressants, can have severe or life-threatening side effects. Other medications include anti-seizure drugs, high-blood pressure drugs, drugs for irregular heart rhythms, immunosuppressants, steroids, HIV treatments, and erectile dysfunction medicine

The FDA also restricted molnupiravir to adults and only when other authorized treatments are not available due to its potential side effects.

According to the NBC News report, University of Colorado professor Dr Peter Anderson said that some of the medications are probably easily managed while others are not.

“Some of these potential interactions are not trivial, and some pairings have to be avoided altogether,” Anderson said.

However, with the advice of doctors or pharmacists, people should be able figure out if they can take these medications.

The Colorado Pharmacists Society’s executive director Emily Zadvorny said pharmacists are highly trained in medication safety and monitoring, so they “are an excellent source of information and advice about interactions between medications and also supplements and herbal products.”

Zadvorny said pharmacsts should be able to “help determine if a significant interaction exists and devise solutions to mitigate the interaction if possible.”


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