Here’s Why a Tufts Doctor Says You Should Ask for COVID Medicines

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“For two years we said that effective and widely available treatment would be a game changer. Well, the game could be changed but how do we reach doctors and patients?”

Paxlovid antiviral medicine is being arranged at a warehouse in Shoham, Israel, on January 18. Coby Wolf/Bloomberg

even as cases There are fewer than a few months ago in Massachusetts, hospital According to Dr. Shira Doron, a hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, most days are still seeing people being admitted with COVID.

She said that they are mostly illiterate, but not exclusively. What is more universal is that despite having widely available outpatient treatment, they almost never initiate any form of treatment for COVID-19.

“For about two years. It’s been, ‘Until you need to go to the hospital, there’s nothing we can do. So rest and drink fluids.’ But that is no longer the case,” Doron said in an interview with Greeley Tribune.com.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a variety of treatments are available, including paxlovid, an oral medication that is the preferred treatment for most patients at risk for serious illness; Remdesivir, an antiviral therapy administered intravenously; and monoclonal antibodies.

Doron said he’d heard people ask whether they should wait to see if their symptoms progress and then take medications, but Doron said that’s not the way the drugs are designed to work. have been done.

“The way it works is keeping it from going bad,” Doran said. “Once you get worse, your immune system is the one that kicks in and kicks in a little bit and causes worse symptoms, and drugs aren’t for the immune system, they’re for the virus. The drugs will kill the virus [and] This has to be done before the onset of the second stage of the disease.”

Doron said currently authorized treatments have been shown to help prevent hospitalization and serious illness.

For so many pandemics, treatments were either not yet developed or were in short supply – but Doron said that is no longer the case.

In general, COVID-19 treatment should be started as soon as possible – eg, Paxlovid should be started within five days of symptom onset.

COVID-19 treatments are available for a wide range of people – almost 40% According to Doron of the residents of Massachusetts. risk factors are determined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and vary widely.

“Right now we have so much treatment that we’re not really limiting it to people at any specific risk. The state has levels in terms of risk factors that it uses when there’s a shortage of supplies,” Doran said. “But there is no shortage of supplies right now. In fact, right now Target is really trying to get the word out so that as many people as possible can take advantage of it.”

The picture wasn’t quite the same during Omicron—particularly for oral agents, such as Paxlovid, there wasn’t a strong supply established before the spike.

Doron advised people to get tested often and to contact their primary care doctor immediately if they are positive. They should be able to help patients determine if they qualify and which route to take.

“During a pandemic it’s really important that everyone has a primary care doctor,” Doron said. “We see that COVID is not going anywhere. It’s not going away. … There is a lot of evidence that your risk is strongly linked to your underlying medical conditions … It is time to see a primary care doctor and better control any underlying risk factors you have. “

While she strongly encourages everyone to get a primary care doctor, there are ways to get COVID-19 treatment without a primary care referral. For example, there are several state-sponsored Gotham sites that can connect patients to treatments. Massachusetts has one COVID-19 Therapeutic Locator Which lists all the sites where medicines are available.

While Doron said there is a “real theoretical possibility” that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could become resistant to current treatments, that did not outweigh his current support for the use of the treatment.

Doran said on Twitter that she “*ll take Paxlovid” when I have COVID and quoted High level of effectiveness and safety associated with medicine.

“I really believe that everyone is going to have COVID,” Doron said. “Like everyone gets the other four coronaviruses that have been going on in our society for so long and will never go away. COVID will never go away. We know this for sure.”

Here’s Doron’s full Twitter thread:

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