COVID-19: Treatments and Medications

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While most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and recover at home, some people require medical care and treatment. Treatments for COVID-19 should always be prescribed by a doctor. If you have COVID-19, contact a doctor right away and do not delay treatment.

Free COVID-19 Treatment Telehealth consultations

DHS offers a free COVID-19 Treatment Telehealth service for Wisconsinites ages 18 and older who test positive for COVID-19 to help them access COVID-19 treatments. Learn more about it on our telehealth webpage.

In addition to COVID-19 treatments, a doctor may recommend the following to relieve symptoms:

  • Medications to reduce fever (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Drinking water to stay hydrated
  • Getting plenty of rest to help your body fight off the virus

Talk to a doctor to see which COVID-19 treatment or medication may be right for you. They can help determine if you are eligible.

 

Department of Health Services (DHS) is partnering with the federal government on a new Test to Treat program as part of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Through this program, people have access to “one-stop” test and treat locations. Select pharmacies and federally qualified health centers will provide rapid COVID-19 testing. If the test is positive and the person is qualified for treatment, a doctor will offer the medication on the spot. See Test to Treat locations.

 


Oral antiviral drugs authorized for treatment of COVID-19

If you have COVID-19, oral antiviral pills can help prevent severe illness. In December 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized two oral antiviral medications for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are risk for severe illness:

  • Paxlovid
  • Lagevrio (also called molnupiravir)

These medications stop the virus from replicating in your body which reduces your risk of severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, or death. These medications are limited to people who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. Both Paxlovid and Lagevrio must be started within the first 5 days of symptom onset.

A third antiviral treatment called Remdesivir is FDA approved for people with COVID-19. This is an intravenous treatment that is available at some health care facilities. This medication is not distributed by the federal government and we do not track its availability on our maps.

Paxlovid

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral medicine that can be used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 disease.

How does Paxlovid work?

Paxlovid prevents the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body. This helps reduce your chance of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. Paxlovid must be started within five days of symptom onset.

Am I eligible for Paxlovid?

Paxlovid is for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness:

  • Who are 12 years or older and weigh at least 88 lbs (40 Kg).
  • Who are currently positive for COVID-19.
  • Who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, or death.

Note: Paxlovid should not be used with certain medications. For patients with moderate kidney disease, a lower dose Renal Paxlovid is available. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist and review the fact sheet for patients.

How can I get Paxlovid?

Paxlovid is available by prescription from a doctor or pharmacist throughout Wisconsin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are eligible to take Paxlovid.

How much does Paxlovid cost?

The federal government is responsible for providing Paxlovid so patients should not experience out of pocket costs.

If I take Paxlovid, do I still need to isolate?

Yes, it is important to continue isolation while you take Paxlovid.

Lagevrio (molnupiravir)

Lagevrio is an oral antiviral medicine that can be used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 disease.

How does Lagevrio work?

Lagevrio prevents the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body, which helps reduce your chance of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. In order to be effective, Lagevrio must be started within 5 days of symptom onset.

Am I eligible for Lagevrio?

Lagevrio is for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness:

  • Who are 18 years and older.
  • Who are currently positive for COVID-19.
  • Who are at a high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • Who do not have access to other COVID-19 treatments.

Note: Talk to a doctor if you have any allergies, are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, have any serious illness, and are taking any medications (prescription, over the counter, vitamins, or herbal products) before taking Lagevrio. Lagevrio is not recommended for use in pregnancy. If you plan to take this medicine and could become pregnant, use birth control during treatment of Lagrevio and for four days after the last dose. If you could get someone pregnant, use birth control for at least 3 months after the last dose.

How can I get Lagevrio?

Lagrevio is available by prescription throughout Wisconsin. Ask a doctor if you are eligible to take Lagrevio.

How much does Lagevrio cost?

The federal government is responsible for providing Lagevrio so patients should not experience out of pocket costs.

If I take Lagevrio, do I still need to isolate?

Yes, it is important to continue isolation while you take Lagevrio.

Remdesivir

Remdesivir is an intravenous medicine that can be used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 disease.

How does remdesivir work?

For non-hospitalized patients, it is administered three times over three days and must be started within seven days of symptom onset. For hospitalized patients, it can be administered for up to 10 days. Remdesivir prevents the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body, which helps prevent you from getting severely sick.

Am I eligible for remdesivir?

Remdesivir is for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness:

  • Who are 28 days of age and older and weighing at least 3 kg.
  • Who are currently positive for COVID-19.
  • Who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, or death.

Note: Remdesivir should not be used if you are allergic to it. Talk with a doctor and review the fact sheet for patients.

How can I get remdesivir?

Ask a doctor if you are eligible to take remdesivir.

How much does remdesivir cost?

Remdesivir is not included in the free federal allocations of COVID-19 treatments. Ask your doctor about what out of pocket costs you may incur.

If I take remdesivir, do I still need to isolate?

Yes, it is important to continue isolation while you take remdesivir.


Monoclonal antibody therapeutics authorized to prevent COVID-19

Monoclonal antibody medication is available through FDA EUA for the prevention of COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies mimic your body’s immune response and boost your body’s defense against COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody medication can prevent you from getting seriously ill with COVID-19. It can also help shorten the length of time that you are sick. People 12 years or older may qualify for monoclonal antibody therapy if they are at risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness. People who previously received monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 do not need to wait to get vaccinated after treatment. On November 30, 2022, FDA revoked the EUA for the monoclonal antibody treatment bebtelovimab. Evusheld continues to be authorized.

Evusheld

Evusheld is a long acting preventative monoclonal antibody therapy. It blocks the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering a person’s cells. It is intended for people who cannot be vaccinated or are immunocompromised and may not develop a strong immune response after receiving the vaccine. Protection from Evusheld is effective for six months.

How do I know if I am eligible for Evusheld?

Evusheld is for people:

  • Who are 12 years or older who weigh at least 88 lbs (40 Kg).
  • Who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and may not develop strong protection from the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Who are unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons, including a history of allergic reaction.

Note: Evusheld is not authorized to treat people who are currently infected or have been recently exposed to COVID-19.

How can I get Evusheld?

Evusheld is available at many medical centers and hospitals throughout Wisconsin. Ask a doctor if you are eligible for Evusheld.

How is Evusheld administered?

Evusheld needs to be administered by a doctor. It is given as two consecutive injections.

How much does Evusheld cost?

The federal government is responsible for providing Evusheld so patients should not experience out of pocket costs for the medication. There could be a charge to administer the medication.


Test to Treat and other distribution locations

The state maps below show locations that have received shipments of COVID-19 therapeutics authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. Allocations are made on a pro-rata basis to each Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition region, with additional allocations to populations largely served by long-term care pharmacies and correctional institutes. As Wisconsin receives more allocations from the federal government, additional locations will receive COVID-19 therapeutics. Many federally qualified health centers and tribal health centers will receive allocations directly from the federal government. The number of courses available at each location is listed.

This map shows Test to Treat locations as well as distribution locations that have received allocations of oral antiviral pills:

  • PAXLOVID™
  • Renal PAXLOVID™
  • Lagevrio™ (molnupiravir)

This map shows distribution locations that have received allocations of monoclonal antibodies:

  • Evusheld™


Get vaccinated against COVID-19

COVID-19 treatments and medications should not be used as replacements for prevention measures such as wearing a mask and vaccination. For the best protection against COVID-19 and circulating variants, get vaccinated and get your booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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Last Revised: December 13, 2022

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