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Paxlovid Reduces Risk of Long Covid Veterans Affairs Study Finds

According to a recent study by researchers at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Paxlovid, an antiviral medication that lowers the risk of hospitalization and mortality from Covid-19, also lowers the chance of long-term Covid.

The study, which was published online as a preprint on Saturday, examined electronic records for over 56,000 veterans who had Covid-19, including over 9,000 who had Paxlovid treatment during the first five days of their infection.

On May 17, 2022, in New York City, people pass a Covid testing station. Up to 4 million Americans are prevented from finding employment by Long Covid. A number of long-term diseases, such as heart disease, blood disorders, fatigue, liver disease, renal disease, muscle discomfort, neurocognitive impairment, and shortness of breath were found to be 26% less likely to develop in those on Paxlovid, according to the review.

Three months after their diagnosis, there were 2.3 fewer cases of long-term Covid problems per 100 persons. Additionally, decreased the likelihood of hospitalization or death after acute COVID-19. In the investigation, there was no statistically significant correlation between taking Paxlovid and the incidence of cough and a new diagnosis of diabetes, two long-standing diseases.

The study wasn’t peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal; instead, it was uploaded to the preprint server medRxiv. The study’s participants were diagnosed with Covid-19 between March 1 and June 30, 2022, and their average age was 65.

They all possessed at least one risk factor, such as advanced age, diabetes, or present smoking, for progression to severe Covid-19. According to the study, decreased the risk of lengthy Covid in those who were unprotected, vaccinated, and boosted, as well as in those who were either suffering their first Covid-19 infection or reinfection.

Florida’s Pembroke Pines on July 7: Pfizer’s Paxlovid is shown in this image being promoted on July 7, 2022, in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Paxlovid, a Covid-19 antiviral medication made by Pfizer, now has a new emergency use authorization that enables state-licensed pharmacists to provide it to patients, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

According to a CDC study, people of color are less likely to obtain Paxlovid and other Covid-19 medications. Paxlovid lowers the chance of severe COVID-19 in the acute phase, and now we have shown that it may also lower the risk of protracted COVID, according to to study leader Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the VA St. Louis Health Care System. The major problem of extended COVID may benefit greatly from this treatment.

The study has a number of drawbacks, including the fact that the majority of participants were White men, which may restrict its generalizability. Although many persons with long Covid describe a wide range of symptoms, the analysis only included 12 long Covid illnesses and only included Paxlovid administration through the VA system.

Numerous long-lasting symptoms have plagued millions of Covid-19 patients since their first disease, yet there is no known cure. Nirmatrelvir, a more recent antiviral, and ritonavir, an earlier antiviral, are combined as the antiviral medication to treat Covid-19.

It has been demonstrated to significantly lower the risk of hospitalization and death in those at risk of severe Covid-19 and is accessible to those as young as 12 years old. Join here to get Every Tuesday, the CNN Health team presents The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Pfizer manufactures the medication, which is given orally during a five-day period. Researchers observed that it’s unclear whether longer duration, higher dose, or both may reduce the likelihood of long-term Covid problems even more, or whether taking Paxlovid after an acute illness from Covid-19 would do the same.

It works best when taken within five days of the onset of symptoms. Paxlovid will be studied by the National Institutes of Health as a treatment for people who are already experiencing lengthy COvid, the organization announced last month.

The VA study’s authors concluded that in order to lower the risk of post-acute poor health outcomes as well as to prevent progression to severe acute disease, there is a need to increase uptake and utilization in the acute phase.

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