COVID-19: Treatments and Medications

Woman Coughing Wearing Mask YSTSWhile most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home, some people require medical care and treatment. Treatments for COVID-19 should always be prescribed by a health care provider. If you have COVID-19, monitor your symptoms and stay in touch with your health care provider. 

If you are sick with COVID-19, your health care provider 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

If you are more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19, your health care provider may recommend other treatments approved or authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA approves drugs to treat COVID-19. During a public health emergency, the FDA can also authorize safe and effective medical devices, vaccines, and treatments more quickly using emergency use authorization (EUA). 

Talk to your health care provider to see which COVID-19 treatment or medication may be right for you. Supply for some options is extremely limited. Your health care provider can help determine if you are eligible. 

 


Drugs approved or authorized for treatment and prevention of COVID-19

Oral antiviral drugs

Oral antiviral drugs are available through FDA EUA for outpatient treatment of COVID-19. Oral antiviral drugs are pills that help stop the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body. Oral antiviral pills help prevent severe illness and can help shorten the length of time that you are sick. At this time, supply for oral antiviral drugs in Wisconsin is very limited. Please contact your health care provider to find out if this treatment is right for you. They will be able to tell you if you are eligible for these pills. 

Paxlovid

  • Used for treatment of COVID-19
  • People ages 12 and up are eligible
  • Must test positive for COVID-19, be within 5 days of symptom onset, and be at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness
  • Authorized for use through EUA. Read the fact sheet for patients, parents, and caregivers. 
  • While drug supplies are limited, prescribers should prioritize treatment of patients at highest risk of progression to severe COVID-19, according to criteria established by the National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel.

Molnupiravir

  • Used for outpatient treatment of COVID-19 
  • Adults (18 years and up) are eligible (not recommended for use in pregnancy) 
  • Must test positive for COVID-19, be within 5 days of symptom onset, and be at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness
  • Authorized for use through EUA. Read the fact sheet for patients, parents, and caregivers.
  • While drug supplies are limited, prescribers should prioritize treatment of patients at highest risk of progression to severe COVID-19, according to criteria established by the National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel.

Monoclonal antibody treatments

Monoclonal antibody treatments are available through FDA EUA for the prevention and outpatient treatment of COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatments can prevent you from getting seriously ill with COVID-19 and can help shorten the length of time that you are sick. Monoclonal antibodies are made in a laboratory and are given to patients through an intravenous (IV) infusion or injection. Some monoclonal antibody treatments may be less effective against certain variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the Omicron variant. 

There are several types of monoclonal antibody treatments available: 

Bamlanivimab, plus etesevimab

  • Used for outpatient treatment and prevention (after exposure) of COVID-19 
  • Available to all ages
  • Must test positive for COVID-19 and be within 10 days of symptom onset, or be recently exposed to COVID-19
  • Used to treat people who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Authorized through EUA. Read the fact sheet for patients, parents, and caregivers (also available in Spanish). 

Evusheld

  • Used for prevention (before exposure) of COVID-19 
  • Available to people ages 12 and up with weakened immune systems or those unable to get a COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons 
  • Authorized through EUA. Read the fact sheet for patients, parents, and caregivers. 

REGEN-COV

  • Used for outpatient treatment and prevention (after exposure) of COVID-19 
  • Available to people ages 12 and up
  • Must test positive for COVID-19 and be within 10 days of symptom onset, or be recently exposed to COVID-19
  • Used to treat people who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Authorized for use through EUA. Read the fact sheet for patients, parents, and caregivers (also available in Spanish). 

Sotrovimab

  • Used for outpatient treatment of COVID-19 
  • Available to people ages 12 and up 
  • Must test positive for COVID-19 and be within 10 days of symptom onset
  • Authorized for use through EUA. Read the fact sheet for patients, parents, and caregivers (also available in Spanish

Antiviral medication

COVID-19 antiviral medication is available for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Antiviral medication stops the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body. This helps shorten the length of recovery time for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Antiviral medication is administered through an IV infusion.

Remdesivir

  • Used for treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients
  • Available to people ages 12 and up
  • Must be administered in a hospital or health care setting capable of providing acute care
  • Approved for use by FDA. Read the patient information fact sheet.

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: January 6, 2022

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