More Research Needed for Pfizer’s Paxlovid for long COVID

According to U.S. experts, additional cases of individuals with protracted COVID who benefited from Pfizer Inc’s oral antiviral therapy Paxlovid provide new impetus for clinical studies to evaluate the medicine for the debilitating ailment.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) reported the instances of three patients who experienced long-term symptoms after COVID-19 infections in a study released this week ahead of peer review.

Dr. Michael Peluso’s study, a copy of which was published online on Research Square, said patients in two of the cases “were able to access Paxlovid antiviral therapy and felt that their lengthy COVID symptoms improved dramatically.”

In the third test, a patient was treated for acute infection with the medicine as indicated.

Peluso explained that the “antiviral therapy and/or antigen re-exposure could potentially impact the complex interplay between viral replication and the host immune response that likely underlies this syndrome but raise concern that brief early antiviral therapy alone may be insufficient to prevent the development of Long COVID.”

The three patients, all in their 40s and previously vaccinated against COVID-19 were all enrolled in the UCSF LIINC extended COVID study.

The findings of the study were not conclusive as it has not been peer-reviewed by a journal. 

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