You’re more probable to obtain Covid once more within weeks if you take Paxlovid

People appear to be more likely to suffer a Covid rebound if they use Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid, a study suggests.

In the past few months, President Joe Biden, Dr Anthony Fauci and CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky have all tested positive again quickly after they stopped taking the drug.

Scientists from Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, compared 127 infected people who used Paxlovid to 43 others who beat the virus without the drug.

They found that 14 per cent of Paxlovid users tested positive for the virus in the weeks after recovering. Meanwhile, only nine per cent tested positive again in the group that didn’t use the antiviral. 

COVID-19 has been known to rebound in patients in the weeks following recovery from the infection. 

In some cases, a person will start testing positive for the virus once again after recovery, while in other symptoms will return despite negative tests. 

Notable examples of the Covid rebounds include President Joe Biden, who suffered a rebound after being infected with the virus in June.

Two of America’s leading health officials, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also suffered it in recent months.

The drug, manufactured by pharma giant Pfizer, was heralded by President Biden as one of the silver bullets to fight the pandemic at his 2022 State of the Union address.

Paxlovid was central to his ‘test to treat’ Covid program launched earlier this year that offered it to Americans who tested positive for the virus at select pharmacies.

In the time since it has come under fire for these reports of symptoms rebounding after a person finishes the five day, 30 pill, course.

A Study Finds That Paxlovid Recipients Are Twice As Likely To Either Suffer A Symptom Rebound Or Test Positive For Covid-19 Once Again Than People Who Did Not Use The Drug Are

A study finds that Paxlovid recipients are twice as likely to either suffer a symptom rebound or test positive for COVID-19 once again than people who did not use the drug are

President Joe Biden (Pictured) Is A Heavy Proponent Of Paxlovid, Announced The Test To Treat Program That Makes The Drug Free To Covid-Infected Americans At His State Of The Union Address Earlier This Year

President Joe Biden (pictured) is a heavy proponent of Paxlovid, announced the test to treat program that makes the drug free to Covid-infected Americans at his State of the Union address earlier this year

The study, which is available in pre-print and still pending peer review, gathered data from 170 patients.

Each of the patients were offered Paxlovid after testing positive for the virus. Among them, 127 accepted to offer while 43 chose not to use the drug.

Paxlovid is to be taken for five days upon onset of symptoms of an infection. A person is to take three pills at a time, twice a day over the period.

Patients were also given 12 at-home COVID-19 tests and instructed to test themselves every other day. They reported test results and daily symptoms to researchers.

What is Paxlovid?

Paxlovid is an antiviral drug developed and manufactured by New York City-based pharma giant Pfizer.

It is intended to be used by people who are severely ill from their infection or have comorbidities that put them at risk of severe complications caused by the virus. 

The FDA approved it for use in the US in December. In March, President Joe Biden launched the ‘test to treat’ program that offered the drug for free to Americans that are positive for the virus.

It comes in a 30 pill course. The tablets are to be taken three at a time, twice a day, for five days.

In clinical trials it showed that it could reduce the likelihood of hospitalization or death caused by the virus 90 per cent in at-risk patients. 

In May, the CDC issued a warning that some people who used the drug would face a symptom bounce back in the weeks after recovery from Covid. 

In the weeks following completion of the course, 18 people in the Paxlovid group, or 14 per cent, once against tested positive for the virus.

Another 22, or 19 per cent of the study group, reported that their Covid symptoms had returned but did not record a positive test.

In the control group, only four testes positive again – nine per cent – while three had symptoms return despite negative swabs – or seven per cent.

In total, 33 per cent of Paxlovid users and 16 per cent of non-users experienced either a symptom bounce back or positive test after recovering from virus. 

Dr Michael Charness, chief of staff at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, told CNN: ‘There is an indication that symptomatic rebound is more frequent in Paxlovid-treated participants than in untreated controls, but larger numbers are needed to draw confident conclusions.’

It is believed that around two to seven per cent of people who use Paxlovid to treat the virus will suffer a rebound. 

The findings of this study, while small, suggest that the true rate of rebounds after using the drug is much higher.

Rates of bounce back are likely being severely undercounted, as many will not seek out medical attention after a rebound and instead weather symptoms at home. 

The exact causes of this symptom rebound are unknown, but doctors suspect it is because of the how the drug functions.

Rather than killing the virus outright, Paxlovid works to stop its replication within the body. Some experts fear that the virus will just replicate once again when the drug is no longer in a person’s system.

This study is another setback for Paxlovid, which was billed as a pandemic ‘game-changer’ when it first hit the market in late 2021.

Clinical trials showed it reduced the likelihood of hospitalization or death caused by the virus 90 per cent. 

President Biden heralded the drug at his annual State of the Union address in March.

He made it the centerpiece of the nation’s test to treat program, which makes it available for free to any American who tests positive for the virus. 

In May, reports that users of the drug were experiencing symptom bounce backs began to emerge. The CDC would issue a warning confirming these reports in the coming weeks.

‘Paxlovid continues to be recommended for early-stage treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 among persons at high risk for progression to severe disease,’ the CDC wrote in the notice.

‘…A brief return of symptoms may be part of the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in some persons, independent of treatment with Paxlovid and regardless of vaccination status.’

These cases are usually mild and there are no known deaths caused by the bounce back. 

Show More


The author of what' is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Related Articles

Back to top button