If you have ever had influenza or any viral flu for that matter, you know how uncomfortable and miserable it can be, right? Many of us reach for our telehealth phone, visit with our primary care doc or urgent care provider, and are often prescribed antiviral medication. There are many antivirals on the market, Tamiflu is one of the more common ones prescribed and most work really well at relieving symptoms if administered when symptoms first appear.
Imagine if there was such a pill to treat COVID-19 early in the disease process! Well, researchers are working on something just like that as we speak! At least three antiviral medications are being tested in clinical trials with the goal of having solid, positive data by late fall or early winter. So, how do these amazing medications work? Basically, they interfere with the virus’s ability to replicate in your cells, thus halting the virus in its tracks.
Currently, remdesivir is the only approved antiviral medication for treating COVID-19 and it has to be administered through an IV in a medical care facility whereas these medications are administered orally. Of course, just like the monoclonal antibody treatments, there is no substitute for being fully vaccinated but it is nice to think we may have options post-infection. Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned!