Anyone taken Paxlovid for a diagnosed Covid infection?

I came down with it on July 4th just before going to watch fireworks. Been generally isolating since. First test that day was the faintest possible “faint line” on the rapid test I took; second test (last night) the line was dark before I even got the 15-minute alarm on my phone set (and yes, the C line did show up eventually).

So my doc put me on Paxlovid this afternoon. My doctor warned me to drink lots of water which I’ve been doing anyway, and recommended I take it with food (in my case, peanuts).

Have any fellow Dopers taken it? Any experiences to relate?

No direct experience, but we got it for my 84 year old mother 2 weeks ago when she tested positive. After reading the contraindications, we had her call her GP before starting and he advised against it due to drug interactions and kidney disease.

There are also issues about rebound symptoms after the course of medication is finished. Tony Faucci had this.

Luckily, she was only miserable for about a week. 4 shots of Pfizer.

Feel better soon.

My SIL’s mom did great on it so far. However, she’s only 4 days post-treatment. Rebound cases usually occur 2-8 days post-treatment.

I’m curious how the rate of Paxlovid rebound cases compares to the rate of non-Paxlovid rebound cases. I’m suspicious that the Paxlovid rebounds are being anecdotally blown out of proportion, especially because I only hear about it from relatives who still tout ivermectin.

My daughter and siblings all seemed to have positive results on paxlovid with no apparent side effects.

I don’t have any direct experience, either, but a friend of mine tested positive for COVID on Thursday, and has been feeling pretty sick. He’s only in his 40s, but he’s overweight, and while he had gotten his initial vaccinations last year, he had put off getting booster shots.

Anyway, he talked with his doctor about taking Paxlovid, and his doctor advised against it, due to a potential (and potentially fatal) interaction which it could have with one of the prescription drugs which he’s already on.

My 75-year old mom just tested positive, and the doctor at the urgent care place suggested she get the monoclonal antibody (MCA) infusion, which we have scheduled for tomorrow. Apparently these are hard to get, but there was an opening at a clinic nearby, When we asked why he didn’t just give her paxlovid, we got one of those quick “no” head shakes (kind of like, “don’t even ask”). Later we called a family doctor friend who said it’s probably because the MCA is available, so it’s better to get that than the pill. I still have no idea why.

I took a course of it last week when I finally got Covid for the first time.

I’ve had all vaccinations I can have (two primary Pfizer, followed a Pfizer booster and a Moderna booster).

I also have several co-morbidities, including asthma and high blood pressure. Plus I’m over the age of 50.

When I tested positive, I immediately went to urgent care and got a prescription for Paxlovid. I started it within a few hours of my first positive test.

I thought it was fantastic. Over the course of the five days I was taking it, there was a marked improvement in my symptoms about an hour after I took each dose. I would start feeling bad again around the time the next dose was due.

Unfortunately this continued even after I finished the pills. The two worst days I experienced were the two days after completing the treatment. But even then the main symptom was fatigue, so not really a big deal.

The only real side effect I experienced was a bad taste in my mouth. Apparently the medicine affects your sense of taste. I also had to stop taking my statin (Lipitor) while on it and for a few days afterwards.

Overall I would definitely recommend it. I would take it again if I happen to get reinfected.

I have no direct experience with it, but coincidentally, a friend told me this morning her coworker had taken it “and it made her get Covid again.” I knew that was BS but looked up the rebound information. There was a study done at the UCSD School of Medicine that concluded that a few individuals may metabolize Paxlovid more rapidly, or that it might need to be given for a longer duration.

Relevant excerpts from [the study](Error (I bolded parts for those who want to just hit the high notes.)

In a study published June 20, 2022 in Clinical Infectious Diseases , researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine evaluated one such patient and found their symptom relapse was not caused by the development of resistance to the drug or impaired immunity against the virus. Rather, the COVID-19 rebound appears to have been the result of insufficient exposure to the drug.
…They first isolated the SARS-CoV-2 BA.2 virus from a COVID-19 rebound patient and tested whether it had developed any drug resistance. They found that after Paxlovid treatment, the virus was still sensitive to the drug and showed no relevant mutations that would reduce the drug’s effectiveness.

The team next sampled the patient’s plasma to test their immunity against SARS-CoV-2. The patient’s antibodies were still effective at blocking the virus from entering and infecting new cells, suggesting that a lack of antibody-mediated immunity was also not the cause of the patient’s recurring symptoms.

The authors said the rebound of COVID-19 symptoms following the end of Paxlovid treatment is likely due to insufficient drug exposure: not enough of the drug was getting to infected cells to stop all viral replication. They suggested this may be due to the drug being metabolized more quickly in some individuals or that the drug needs to be delivered over a longer treatment duration.

The fact Faucci was willing to take a second round and spoke so highly of it is also encouraging.

Thanks, folks!

I’m halfway through the regimen now and my experience has pretty much duplicated robby’s - the bad taste in the mouth is definitely there (and I thought I would be nauseated a couple times early on, though that feeling has passed) and I am seeing symptoms improve dramatically after the pill has been taken.

I’m mid-50’s, obese BMI and mild high blood pressure. When my doctor was prescribing by phone he thought about it a bit before deciding to put me on the meds as the deadline was pressing.

I’ll report back again once I’m done and then again in a week or so in case I have any rebound symptoms. Thanks again, everyone!

Really good point. It was emphasized (by cdc or Pfizer or fda or someone, too lazy to look it up right now) that rebounds can happen in the normal course of the disease and they were happening in the placebo group. When normalizing for placebo, rebound was low but high enough to advise doctors to warn their patients.

BTW, so far so good with my SIL mom.

I don’t think the data supports that for most people.

So I have an update: I finished my course of Paxlovid on July 4th. I was still testing positive that day. I subsequently tested negative on July 6th and 7th and my symptoms mostly went away too.

Symptoms reappeared on July 12th. Out of an abundance of caution, I took a home test, and it was instantly positive with the darkest line I’ve seen to date. I’m still positive today. This sucks.

Based on my anecdotal experience, the supposed rarity of Covid rebound after taking Paxlovid appears to be overstated. I’ve now been dealing with Covid for over two weeks. Overall my symptoms have generally been fairly mild, which I’m thankful for, but I’m really getting sick of having to isolate and quarantine.

I’m also worried about my asthma, which seems to be getting worse.

Sorry to hear about your rebound, robby. Hope you are better soon. Consider asking if your doctor will OK a second course - apparently Fauci did so when he had a rebound and worked for him.

I finished my Paxlovid regimen Tuesday morning and tested this afternoon, two days later. Came back negative. This is my tenth day, so I’m coming out of isolation, though I’ll still mask when I’m around people for a long time or if I’m around a lot of people. Here’s hoping I don’t get a rebound case.

If possible, please help me sort out these drugs and reactions…

  1. My next door neighbor (“Nellie”) tested positive last Friday and had sore throat, body aches, vomiting. At the ER they recommended monoclonal antibodies and the next day, someone came to her house to administer. How long does this take? Who would have come-- private physician’s office, health dept.? She still feels really bad today-- aches, nausea-- or else I would grill her thoroughly. She is a good reporter of details.

  2. Yesterday, her husband (“Neddie”) tested positive and she took him to a 24-hr. Doc-in-the-Box last night at 11:30 to get a referral for MCA. I’m assuming he’ll also be getting the infusion at home-- again, wondering by whom?

  3. My book club friend “Brenda” also tested positive last Friday-- before the test she just thought it was a bad cold: sore-scratchy throat, heavy congestion, fatigue. I asked if she was going to go to the ER to get meds. She didn’t seem to know about the meds. (!) She did go to ER and got something administered there. That would have likely been Paxlovid, right? (No point in asking her, as she is a poor reporter of details.) The next day, she felt 50% better and the next day (last Sunday) she was virtually symptom-free and felt like her old self.

  4. However, her husband (“Bennie”) has since tested positive, but he has Parkinson’s and his doc voted down any drugs. So does he just tough it out and hope for the best?


P.S. I have not been exposed to Nellie at all.
I had lunch with Brenda 11 days ago, 5 days before she tested positive. On Saturday, it will be 14 days since I was with her. I’ve tested negative twice since that lunch. No symptoms.

I tested positive yesterday, and when I had a telemed appointment with my Dr she was very cautious about recommending Paxlovid. She let me decide, but it was clear that with my age and general health she didn’t think the side effects were worth the possible benefit. She said if I felt worse tomorrow to call and they could set it up with a few days in the 5 day window to spare.

Did she suggest the monoclonal antibody infusion as an alternative?

I’m trying to get straight who gets which.

No, not unless things get worse.

My neighbors (Brenda & Bennie) are pretty sick and they both got MCA.

So it’s the seriousness of the symptoms that determines which treatment you get?

Every treatment has side effects, costs, and contraindications. A conversation with your doctor on how your specific case is working out will determine what is the best course of action.