If you test positive for COVID-19, Vanderbilt Health now has treatments that can help lower your risk of getting very sick, going to the hospital or dying.
One such treatment is Paxlovid, an oral antiviral pill that can be taken at home. It helps stop the COVID-19 virus from multiplying in your body and lowers your risk of going to the hospital. You need to start taking it as soon as possible after you test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms. Treatment must start within 5 days of when your symptoms started.
By lowering how much virus you have in your body, Paxlovid and similar medications can help your immune system fight the virus. These medicines are for people who have a high risk of serious problems:
- People 50 and older (the older you are, the higher your risk)
- People who are unvaccinated
- People with some medical conditions, such as a weak immune system
Here are a few common questions and answers about Paxlovid and other COVID-19 treatments:
How can I get Paxlovid?
You can only get it with a prescription. Any licensed health care clinician can prescribe it. But right now, it’s only in stock at some pharmacies. All Vanderbilt Health Clinic at Walgreens locations and three Vanderbilt Health Walk-in Clinics (Bellevue, Belle Meade, and Belcourt) are Test to Treat sites. These clinics may have it in stock or may supply you with a prescription . To learn more about these clinic locations and hours, go to: MyHealthWalkIn.com.
To find other pharmacies and health care clinics with outpatient COVID-19 therapies, go to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Locator. If this site shows places that have Paxlovid, call to confirm they have it in stock before you go.
Can I take Paxlovid with my other medicines?
If your clinician wants to prescribe Paxlovid for you, talk with them first about all the medicines you take. Paxlovid can change how other medicines work in your body. It can affect cholesterol lowering, blood thinning, and immune suppressing medicines. Your clinician will know if you need to make changes to the medicines you take. Or they may give you something else besides Paxlovid.
If I can’t take Paxlovid, can I take monoclonal antibodies?
This treatment is for people 12 years and older who have a high risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies are given by infusion (IV). These infusions are by appointment only in one of Vanderbilt Health’s specialized clinics. Monoclonal antibodies must be given within 10 days of when your symptoms start. Learn more about this treatment on the Vanderbilt Health website.
Are there other antiviral medicine for COVID-19?
At Vanderbilt Health, Lagevrio is something given to patients who can’t take Paxlovid or have monoclonal antibody infusions. This medicine is for adults 18 and older. It’s taken by mouth at home. You need to take it as soon as possible after you test positive and show signs of COVID-19. Treatment must begin within 5 days of when your symptoms started.
Remember: If you get COVID-19, we now have multiple ways of treating you outside the hospital. If you or a family member who is 12 years or older tests positive for the virus and you have a high risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID-19, please visit your clinician or go to one of our Vanderbilt Health Clinic at Walgreens locations or a Vanderbilt Health Walk-In Clinics to talk about your options.
Learn more about your risk at the CDC’s website.