As the rise of the Omicron variant hits an already pandemic society, the first antiviral pills for Covid-19 promise desperately needed protection for people at risk of serious illness. However, a new study warns that antivirals may not be safe for everyone.
One of the two drugs in the antiviral cocktail could cause serious or life-threatening interactions with widely used medications, such as statins, blood thinners, and some antidepressants.
To complicate matters, drugs that pose interaction risks are widely prescribed to people at increased risk for Covid due to other health conditions. Medications include, but are not limited to: blood thinners; anticonvulsant medications; medications for irregular heart rhythms, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; antidepressants and anxiolytics; immunosuppressants; steroids (including inhalers); HIV treatments; and erectile dysfunction medications.
In its fact sheet on Paxlovid, the FDA has published a detailed list of drugs that may harmfully interact with ritonavir, including those that should not be combined with Covid antivirals.