COVID-19: Treatments and Medications

All children 6 months and older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine!

While we work to update our webpages with new information for kids ages 6 months through 4 years old, you can learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children on the CDC website.

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While 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 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. Your health care provider can help determine if you are eligible. 

 


Oral antiviral drugs authorized for treatment of COVID-19

If you have COVID-19, oral antiviral pills can help prevent severe illness and shorten the length of time that you are sick. At this time, the FDA has authorized two oral antiviral medications that reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death for people with mild to moderate COVID-19. 

Paxlovid was authorized by the FDA in December 2021 to treat mild to moderate COVID-19. It works by stopping the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body.

Lagevrio (molnupiravir) was authorized by the FDA in December 2021 to treat mild to moderate COVID-19. It also works by stopping the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body, which helps prevent you from getting severely sick.

These medications are limited to people who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. Both Paxlovid and Lagevrio must be taken as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID-19. They should be taken within the first five days of symptom onset in order to be effective. Do not delay getting tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services 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 will have access to “one-stop” test and treatment 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 antiviral pills, a health care provider will offer the medication on the spot. The current list of Test to Treat locations will be updated as new providers come on board.

In addition to the oral antiviral pills, there is a third antiviral treatment available. Remdesivir is FDA approved for people with COVID-19. This intravenous treatment is available for hospitals and treatment centers to order, but it is not included free in the federal allocations to the state like all the other COVID-19 therapeutics. 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. It is a medication that is taken by mouth. The usual dose is three tablets twice per day for five days. Paxlovid does not prevent COVID-19 infection. 

Paxlovid must be taken as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID-19. In order to be effective, Paxlovid should be taken no more than 5 days after your symptoms began. Do not delay getting tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

How does Paxlovid work?

Paxlovid prevents the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in your body, which helps prevent you from getting severely sick. 

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 can interact negatively with some medications. Ask your doctor if Paxlovid is right for you. 

Who should NOT take Paxlovid?

Paxlovid should not be used with certain medications. For patients with moderal kidney disease, there is now a lower dose Renal Paxlovid available. Talk with your doctor and review the fact sheet for patients. 

How can I get Paxlovid?

Paxlovid is available by prescription from your doctor throughout Wisconsin. Ask your doctor 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. It is a medication that is taken by mouth. The usual dose is four tablets every 12 hours for five days. Lagevrio does not prevent COVID-19 infection.  

Lagevrio must be taken as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID-19. In order to be effective, Lagevrio should be taken no more than 5 days after your symptoms began. Do not delay getting tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

How does Lagevrio work?

Lagevrio causes the COVID-19 virus to mutate so it cannot replicate. This helps prevent you from getting sicker.  

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 FDA authorized treatment options. 

Who should NOT take Lagevrio?

Talk to your healthcare provider 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 4 days after the last dose. If you could get someone pregnant, use birth control for at least 3 months after the last dose. 

Can I take Lagevrio if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

Lagrevio is not recommended for patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your health care provider before taking Lagrevio if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  

How can I get Lagevrio?

Lagrevio is available by prescription throughout Wisconsin. Ask your 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. 

For non-hospitalized patents, it is administered 3 times over 3 days and must be started within 7 days of symptom onset. For hospitalized patients, it can be administered for up to 10 days. Remdesivir does not prevent COVID-19 infection.

How does remdesivir work?

Remdesivir interferes with the virus that causes COVID-19 from copying itself 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. 

Who should NOT take remdesivir?

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

How can I get remdesivir?

Ask your 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 health care provider 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 for treatment and prevention of COVID-19

Monoclonal antibody treatments are available through FDA EUA for the prevention and outpatient treatment of COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies mimic your body’s immune response to help boost your body’s defense against COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatments can prevent you from getting seriously ill with COVID-19. If you have COVID-19, they 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.

The FDA revised the EUA for some monoclonal antibody treatments that are less effective against the Omicron variant. At this time, the FDA has suspended use of bamlanivimab plus etesevimab and REGEN-COV. DHS is no longer receiving allocations of these medications from the federal government. As of 3/30/2022, the FDA suspended use of Sotrovimab in Wisconsin and in other states and territories where the Omicron BA.2 subvariant is estimated to account for more than 50% of cases.

There are several types of monoclonal antibody therapeutics available that are effective against the Omicron variant and the Omicron subvariant BA.2.

Bebtelovimab

Bebtelovimab is a type of monoclonal antibody treatment that can prevent severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization or death in high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.  Bebtelovimab is effective at preventing severe disease in people who are infected with the Omicron variant. 

How is bebtelovimab administered?

Bebtelovimab is given to patients through an intravenous (IV) infusion. It needs to be administered by a health care provider. 

Am I eligible for bebtelovimab?

Bebtelovimab is for people: 

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

Who cannot take bebtelovimab?

Bebtelovimab is not authorized for people: 

  • Who are hospitalized due to COVID-19. 
  • Who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19. 
  • Who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19. 
  • Do not take bebtelovimab if you had a serious allergic reaction to bebtelovimab or to any of the ingredients in bebtelovimab.  

How do I get bebtelovimab?

Bebtelovimab is available at many medical centers and hospitals throughout Wisconsin. Ask your doctor if you are eligible for bebtelovimab. 

Do I still need to isolate if I am treated with bebtelovimab?

Yes. Continue to isolate while completing treatment. 

How much does bebtelovimab cost?

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

Sotrovimab - FDA EUA Currently Suspended Due to Prevalence of Omicron BA.2

Sotrovimab is ineffective against the Omicron BA.2 variant which is responsible for most COVID-19 infections in the Midwest. Distribution of sotrovimab was suspended in Wisconsin on March 30, 2022.

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 or do 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 that do 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.

Who is NOT eligible for Evusheld?

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 your doctor if you are eligible for Evusheld. 

How is Evusheld administered?

Evusheld needs to be administered by a health care provider. 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.

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™     
  • Sotrovimab - as of 3/30/2022, the FDA suspended the EUA for Sotrovimab in Wisconsin and in other states where the prevalence of Omicron subvariant BA.2 is more than 50%. It has been temporarily removed from the map. DHS is not currently receiving allocations, and will not be accepting orders for this treatment.  
  • Bebtelovimab


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: May 27, 2022

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