Paxlovid reduces the risk of long Covid-19 infection, US Veterans Affairs study finds
According to a new study conducted by the researchers at US Department of Veterans Affairs has concluded that use of anti-viral medicine Paxlovid can reduce risk of hopsitalizations and even deaths due to Covid-19 infection. The study was posted online as a preprint that included analysis of electronic records of over 56,000 veterans who had contracted the Covid-19 infection. Out of these, more than 9,000 had been treated with Paxlovid within the first five days of their infection.
According to the analysis of these records, people who had been treated with Paxlovid had a 26 per cent reduced risk of developing several long Covid conditions, such as heart disease, blood disorders, fatigue, liver disease, kidney disease, muscle pain, neurocognitive impairment and shortness of breath. Paxlovid also reduced the chances of hospitalization or death following acute infection of Covid-19.
The study was posted on Saturday to the preprint server medRxiv and has not been peer reviewed or published in any medical journal.
“Paxlovid reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 in the acute phase, and now, we have evidence that it can help reduce the risk of long COVID,” Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the VA St. Louis Health Care System and leader of the study, said in a news release. “This treatment could be an important asset to address the serious issue of long COVID.”
“The totality of evidence suggests the need to improve uptake and utilization of nirmatrelvir in the acute phase as a means of not only preventing progression to severe acute disease, but to also reduce the risk of post-acute adverse health outcomes,” authors of the VA study wrote.
There were several limitations in the study conducted, including the fact that the majority of people in study were White and male, limiting the relevance of study on a broad spectrum. The analysis captured Paxlovid use only through the VA system and considered only 12 long Covid conditions, although many people with long Covid describe a wide variety of symptoms, mentions CNN.