A small percentage of patients treated with Pfizer’s antiviral experience mild signs of the disease or are positive in an anti-Covid test. Experts recommend a new quarantine to avoid new infections
Joe Biden, the US president, belongs to that ‘stranger’ 2% of patients who are positive again after completion of Paxlovid treatment. Some controversy has arisen around Pfizer’s antiviral, since US experts see how cases they treat seems to ‘re-infect’.
“And it’s not like that,” says Jess Sierra, coordinator of the Spanish Registry of Pharmacotherapy Results against Covid-19 and spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy (SEFH). It should be remembered that the same thing happened to Anthony Fauci, the top medical adviser to the Biden Administration, when he was infected in early July.
Sierra explains in detail that “the first thing need to emphasize is that the drug is designed to prevent hospitalization and mortality of patients, but above all avoid admission”.
And he continues that “this possibility was already pointed out in the laboratory tests. there are patients who continue to be positive long after the infection has passed, we meet people who experience the same process after being treated with Pfizer’s antiviral.”
In the US, the Biden case has revived a controversy that has not existed in Spain or Europe. Possibly, this happens “because its use there is broader”, Sierra clarifies. “And if it has happened here, as the number of patients treated with the drug is smaller, it has been practically invisible.”
Thus, Sierra recommends, as is done in the US, that at the end of the treatment “perform an antigen test if any symptoms persist or simply to ensure that the infection will not be transmitted to third parties”.
here in Spain its administration is ‘scant’, as Sierra tells. “The criteria for use are stricter than the US and it is used to a lesser extent.” It would be prescribed to adult patients with Covid who do not require extra oxygen supply and who are at higher risk of progressing to severe disease, and during the first five days of infection. Later it loses its effectiveness, which reaches 89% in reducing hospitalization and death, according to the studies carried out.
“Another reason we rule out Paxlovid in our country is because the group of patients in whom it could be administered takes other drugs with which there may be interactions”stresses the SEFH spokesman.
In fact, the intensity of the debate has caused the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had to speak out against the need to photograph patients.
In a statement he explains that the “rebound” effect can occur two to eight days after your initial recovery and manifests itself with the reappearance of symptoms or the positive result of a test, the government institution indicates on its website.
Why this bounce? “It is a issue difficult to characterize, but outside the treatment“, points out Sierra, who adds that “the drug fulfills its mission, that is, it reduces and eliminates the possibility of entering due to Covid. What happens is that the virus reappears in the body, but the patient is fine.”
The SEFH spokesman downplays this fact, “beyond knowing that at the end of the therapy it is necessary to confirm if, in the face of any symptom or not, one has the virus due to the risk of contagion to others. The drug has fulfilled its mission.” And he remembers that the only thing is to isolate himself for one more week and perform an antigen test to find out if any type of viral load is maintained.
Michael Minaprofessor of epidemiology at Harvard University, in a twitter threadstresses that “the drug continues to work very well as it keeps patients away from the hospital. In addition, it is important to be aware of symptoms and get tested after taking Paxlovid.”
What does this anti-Covid drug consist of?
Paxlovid is a antiviral designed to stop virus replication. In itself, the treatment consists of two drugs: ritonavir, which has been used for years against HIV, and nirmatrelvir, recently developed.
Your employment is scheduled for adult patients with Covid who do not require extra oxygen and are at increased risk of progressing to severe disease. Therefore, it is presented as a solution for addressing in homes the intermediate forms of infection.
The effectiveness of its administration lies in the fact that it is important to use it early. “It would act in the first five days since the symptoms appear and slow down the progression to a more serious disease,” says Sierra.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism