Frequently Asked Questions About PAXLOVID

About COVID‑19 and risk factors

What is COVID‑19 and how does it spread?

COVID‑19 is an illness that is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. It can cause a wide range of symptoms and can be very mild to very severe, even causing death. People with certain risk factors are more likely to progress to severe COVID‑19 and may be eligible for treatment.

COVID‑19 is spread by small droplets of saliva exhaled by an infected person that

  • are inhaled, or
  • land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, or
  • are introduced to the eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.

What are the symptoms of COVID‑19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common COVID‑19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Talk to your healthcare professional if you have a high-risk factor and mild-to-moderate COVID‑19.

What does it mean to progress to severe COVID‑19?

Severe COVID‑19 is when a person gets very ill with COVID‑19 and needs medical intervention. It can result in:

  • Hospitalization
  • Needing a ventilator to receive adequate oxygen
  • Death

Even if your symptoms are mild now, they can get worse quickly. Your symptoms are more likely to progress if you have certain risk factors.

Learn more about severe COVID‑19 and how PAXLOVID may help

Learn more about risk factors for severe COVID‑19

Who is more likely to progress to severe COVID‑19?

People of all ages or groups can be infected with COVID‑19. Some people are more likely than others to progress to severe COVID‑19, which can lead to hospitalization or worse, even when symptoms start off as mild.

Having a high-risk factor puts you at risk of progression to severe COVID‑19*:

  • Age
  • Health conditions and diseases
  • Obesity
  • Recent pregnancy
  • Mental health conditions
  • Lifestyle factors
  • Disabilities

Learn more about risk factors for severe COVID‑19

In addition, a person’s risk increases with each underlying medical condition they have.

Some people are at increased risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID‑19 because of where they live or work, or because they can’t get healthcare. This includes many people from racial and ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities.

The CDC recommends treatment for anyone over the age of 50, and people over the age of 65 are at the highest risk of getting very sick from COVID‑19.

Speak with your healthcare professional to help determine your risk status even before a positive COVID‑19 result.

*This list is subject to change based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Visit the CDC website for the latest information and the full list of high-risk factors: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html. By clicking this link, you will be redirected to a website that is neither owned nor controlled by Pfizer. Pfizer is not responsible for the content or services of this site.

It is not known if PAXLOVID is safe to use during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and suspect you have COVID‑19, talk to your healthcare professional about whether treatment is right for you.

About PAXLOVID

How was PAXLOVID studied?

PAXLOVID was studied in a clinical trial that included 2113 people from around the world. All participants were unvaccinated adults, at risk for progression to severe COVID‑19, had mild-to-moderate symptoms for 5 days or fewer, and tested positive for COVID‑19.

The primary goal of the clinical trial was to see how well PAXLOVID worked to reduce the risk of COVID‑19–related hospitalization or death when compared with placebo.

Learn more about how PAXLOVID was studied and see the results

How does PAXLOVID work?

Viruses spread in the body by making copies of themselves. If there are enough copies of the virus in your body, it may be hard for your immune system to fight the infection off. PAXLOVID works to stop the virus from multiplying and reduces the amount of it in your body.

Getting PAXLOVID

Is PAXLOVID right for me? What should I discuss with my healthcare professional to determine if PAXLOVID is right for me?

If you have mild-to-moderate COVID‑19 and have a high-risk factor for developing severe COVID‑19, tell your healthcare professional about your symptoms as soon as possible. Learn more about high-risk factors.

Tell your healthcare professional about all of the medicines that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines can interact with PAXLOVID and cause severe or life-threatening side effects or death. Keep a list of your medicines to show your healthcare professional and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a list of medicines that interact with PAXLOVID. Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider.

Additionally, tell your healthcare professional if you have any allergies, have liver or kidney problems, have Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) infection, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking a combined hormonal contraceptive. PAXLOVID may affect how your birth control works. People who are able to become pregnant should use another effective alternative form of contraception or an additional barrier method of contraception. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any questions about contraceptive methods that might be right for you.

Do not take PAXLOVID if you are allergic to nirmatrelvir, ritonavir, or any of the ingredients in PAXLOVID.

Learn if PAXLOVID may be right for you

How much does PAXLOVID cost?

If you are commercially insured, you could pay as little as $0* for your PAXLOVID prescription. Enroll in the Co-Pay Savings Program to see if you’re eligible for savings.

You may still qualify for PAXLOVID at no charge, or you may qualify for other programs. Please reach out to 1‑8‍77‑C19‑PACK (1-877-219-7225) to see what options may be available for you. You can also discuss with your healthcare professional or pharmacist.

*Eligible commercially insured patients can save up to $1,500 per prescription. Annual savings up to $1,500. Federal and state healthcare insurance beneficiaries are not eligible. Terms and conditions apply. Full terms and conditions for the Co-Pay Program may be found here.

Other administrative fees may apply.

With a focus on ensuring access for patients, the U.S. Government Patient Assistance Program (USG PAP) operated by Pfizer will continue to provide patients on Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, VA Community Care Network, and those who are uninsured access to PAXLOVID for free through December 31, 2024. PAXLOVID through USG PAP is not available to patients who have commercial prescription drug health insurance. The USG PAP operated by Pfizer is an independent program with separate eligibility requirements offered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is not owned by Pfizer. Terms and conditions apply. Full terms and conditions for the USG PAP may be found here.

What type of COVID‑19 test can I take?

You can take any available FDA-authorized COVID‑19 viral test (eg, RT-PCR, rapid antigen) to determine if you have COVID‑19. Per the FDA, a viral test checks specimens from the nose or mouth and can be performed in a laboratory, at a testing site, at home, or anywhere else. This page can help you find a testing provider.

If you suspect you have COVID‑19 and have a high-risk factor, speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

For more information on COVID‑19 testing, see the CDC’s COVID‑19 Testing: What You Need To Know.*

*By clicking this link, you will be redirected to a website that is neither owned nor controlled by Pfizer. Pfizer is not responsible for the content or services of this site.

How do I get PAXLOVID?

You can get PAXLOVID with a prescription from a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant. As of July 6, 2022, state-licensed pharmacists have also been authorized to prescribe PAXLOVID.

If you have mild-to-moderate COVID‑19 and want to determine if you’re eligible for a PAXLOVID prescription from a pharmacist, bring the following information:

  • Electronic or printed health records less than 12 months old, including recent laboratory blood work, for the pharmacist to review for kidney or liver problems. Pharmacists can also receive this information through your healthcare professional
  • A list of all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, so the pharmacist can screen for drugs with potentially serious interactions with PAXLOVID

Learn more about how to get PAXLOVID

Where can I get my prescription for PAXLOVID filled?

PAXLOVID is widely available at many pharmacies, hospitals, urgent care centers, and other healthcare facilities.

Locations of publicly available COVID‑19 therapeutics can be found by using the Test to Treat Locator.*

*By clicking this link, you will be redirected to a website that is neither owned nor controlled by Pfizer. Pfizer is not responsible for the content or services of this site.

When should I start taking PAXLOVID?

PAXLOVID should be started within 5 days of your first symptoms, so talk to your healthcare professional as soon as possible.

What is the Test to Treat initiative?

The Test to Treat initiative* can help you get tested for COVID‑19 and, if appropriate, receive treatment all in the same location. Find a location near you here or call 1-800-232-0233.*

*By clicking this link or calling this phone number, you will be redirected to a website or service that is neither owned nor controlled by Pfizer. Pfizer is not responsible for the content of this site or service.

Taking PAXLOVID

How do I take PAXLOVID?

PAXLOVID consists of 2 medicines: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir.

    • If you are prescribed the standard dose pack (300 mg nirmatrelvir; 100 mg ritonavir): Take 2 pink tablets of nirmatrelvir with 1 white to off-white tablet of ritonavir by mouth 2 times each day (in the morning and in the evening) for 5 days. For each dose, take all 3 tablets at the same time
    • If you have kidney problems, talk to your healthcare professional. You may need a different dose
    • If you are prescribed the reduced dose pack (150 mg nirmatrelvir; 100 mg ritonavir): Take 1 pink tablet of nirmatrelvir with 1 white to off-white tablet of ritonavir by mouth 2 times each day (in the morning and in the evening) for 5 days. For each dose, take both tablets at the same time
  • Swallow the tablets whole. Do not chew, break, or crush the tablets
  • Take PAXLOVID with or without food
  • Do not stop taking PAXLOVID without talking to your healthcare professional, even if you feel better
  • If you are taking a ritonavir- or cobicistat-containing medicine to treat hepatitis C or Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) infection, you should continue to take your medicine as prescribed by your healthcare professional
  • Talk to your healthcare professional if you do not feel better or if you feel worse after 5 days

Learn more about how to take PAXLOVID

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of PAXLOVID within 8 hours of the time it is usually taken, take it as soon as you remember. If you miss a dose by more than 8 hours, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses of PAXLOVID at the same time.

What if I take too much PAXLOVID?

If you take too much PAXLOVID, call your healthcare professional or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

Do I need to continue the treatment if I feel better before completing the full treatment course?

Do not stop taking PAXLOVID without talking to your healthcare professional, even if you feel better.

Safety

What are the possible side effects of taking PAXLOVID?

PAXLOVID may cause side effects, some of which may be serious, such as allergic reactions or liver problems. The list below doesn't include all of the possible side effects of PAXLOVID. For more information, ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist.

Allergic reactions: Allergic reactions, including severe allergic reactions (known as “anaphylaxis”) can happen in people taking PAXLOVID. Stop taking PAXLOVID and call your healthcare professional right away if you get any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  • Skin rash, hives, blisters, or peeling skin
  • Painful sores or ulcers in the mouth, nose, throat, or genital area
  • Swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, or face
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Throat tightness
  • Hoarseness

Liver problems: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following signs and symptoms of liver problems while taking PAXLOVID:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Pale-colored stools
  • Itchy skin
  • Stomach-area (abdominal) pain

The most common side effects of PAXLOVID include: altered sense of taste and diarrhea.

Other possible side effects include: headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, high blood pressure, feeling generally unwell.

Report side effects to FDA MedWatch at www.fda.gov/medwatch* or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or you can report side effects to Pfizer Inc. at the contact information provided below.

*By clicking this link, you will be redirected to a website that is neither owned nor controlled by Pfizer. Pfizer is not responsible for the content or services of this site.

How can I know when my PAXLOVID expires?

On January 18, 2023, the FDA authorized a shelf-life extension to 24 months for certain lots of PAXLOVID. For more information, and to look up adjusted product expiration dates by original printed expiry date or batch number, please refer to www.paxlovidlotexpiry.com.

How can I verify the tablets are authentic?

PAXLOVID must be prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional and supplied by a government-approved pharmacy or medical facility.

Authentic PAXLOVID, from Pfizer Inc., will include the Pfizer name on the label and will be packaged in several aluminum push-through blister cards. Individual doses are not for sale. PAXLOVID will be packaged in a carton. The carton has a colorless, glossy coating that contains a repeated pattern of the Pfizer name and logo all over, and these repeating features are seen in a contrasting matte finish.

PAXLOVID consists of tablets for a 5-day oral treatment regimen, with morning and evening doses.

NOTE: If you are a patient with moderate kidney disease, you may receive a carton with daily blister cards that have been modified to ensure you receive the correct dose.

To help determine whether the tablets are authentic, look for specific text on each side of the tablets:

  • nirmatrelvir (Front: 3CL | Back: PFE)
  • ritonavir, manufactured by AbbVie (Front: icon NK | Back: No text)
  • ritonavir, manufactured by Hetero (Front: H | Back: R9)
  • ritonavir, manufactured by AbbVie (Front: NK | Back: No text)

For packaging options and information, see the Patient PAXLOVID Packaging Education Flashcard here.

Pfizer is committed to patient safety and ensuring that people have accurate information about PAXLOVID, including how it is accessed and administered. We are actively monitoring for fraudulent offers of illegitimate PAXLOVID to protect patients from products that might be dangerous and lead to serious and life-threatening harm.

If you suspect the product you have received may be counterfeit, contact us at 1-800-438-1985 or visit www.pfizersafetyreporting.com.

For more information

Contact one of the following groups:

For medical information visit www.pfizermedicalinformation.com or call 1-800-438-1985

For general product inquiries call 1‑8‍77‑C19‑PACK (1-877-219-7225)