Oct 13, 2022 - Health

Paxlovid's dangerous interactions with heart drugs

Illustration of a human heart medical diagram surrounded by various abstract shapes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Paxlovid can have severe interactions with some of the most common heart medications, complicating treatment options for cardiac patients at increased risk of developing severe COVID, according to a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Why it matters: Hospitalized COVID patients are at increased risk of facing major cardiovascular problems and could benefit from the antiviral pill. But doctors have to be aware of the potential adverse effects before they prescribe it.

What they found: Common blood thinners and statins used to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels should not be taken with Paxlovid, researchers found. Their conclusions are based on data on drug-drug interactions and not on any adverse events reported.

  • The study includes a detailed matrix of what types and which specific kinds of heart disease medications have known reactions.
  • Paxlovid has been shown to prevent hospitalization and death among older, unvaccinated patients as well as vaccinated patients with heart conditions, according to study author Sarju Ganatra, who leads the cardio-oncology program at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.
  • Iterating drug-drug interactions into electronic medical records could help avoid adverse events, Ganatra said in a statement.
  • Study authors recommend that the entire health care team, from pharmacists to cardiologists, should be involved in prescribing decisions for patients who are already taking medication for heart conditions.
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