Nov 7, 2022 - Health

Paxlovid reduces long-COVID risk, study finds

Illustration of a stop sign shaped like a covid particle.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Pfizer's antiviral pill Paxlovid can reduce the risk of long COVID symptoms like organ damage, according to a pre-print study the Department of Veterans Affairs released on Sunday.

Driving the news: The study of 56,000 veterans who tested positive for the virus found those given the medication in the first five days of infection had a 25% decreased risk of developing 10 of 12 symptoms, such as heart, kidney or liver disease.

  • It's another positive data point in the back-and-forth about Paxlovid, which has been shown to reduce hospitalizations but also raised concerns about its contribution to COVID rebound.

Be smart: The study published on the pre-print server medRxiv has not yet been peer-reviewed and will need to be independently replicated.

What they're saying: "Before this report, the only way we have known to reduce long COVID was to avoid a COVID infection," Eric Topol, executive vice president of Scripps Research, wrote in a blog post, adding there was also some reduction afforded by prior vaccination and boosters.

  • "The new VA study adds a [third] way of reducing long COVID, no less important complications across multiple organ systems, and improved survival and avoidance of hospitalizations," he wrote.
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