Pfizer and Merck endeared the world recently when their COVID pills got approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But as expected, taking the drugs under certain circumstances is certainly not a good idea, as in the case of pretty much any other medications.
The new COVID pills can be helpful for those individuals who get infected with the coronavirus and are at risk of developing severe disease. But still, medical staff will need to be careful, as close monitoring for those who are about to take the drugs is mandatory.
There’s a chance that not anyone should take the antiviral pills
NBCNews.com explains why the newly-approved antiviral pills shouldn’t be taken by anyone. The publication reveals that the FDA urges those who suffer from severe kidney or liver disease to not be taking paxlovid, meaning the COVID pill developed by Pfizer. Paxloid can be understood as an antiviral cocktail that contains two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir.
If you pair Paxloid with other meds that the CYP3A enzyme metabolizes, the main problem is that ritonavir could boost the co-administered drugs to toxic levels.
The medications that pose interaction risks include, but are still not limited to anti-seizure drugs, high blood pressure/high cholesterol, anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants, steroids, blood thinners, and so on.
The FDA has published a list of medications that may interact in a bad way with ritonavir.
Emily Zadvorny, a clinical pharmacist and also the executive director of the Colorado Pharmacists Society, gives us some very important advice, as cited by NBCNews.com:
Pharmacists are highly trained experts in medication safety and monitoring and are an excellent source of information and advice about interactions between medications and also supplements and herbal products,
They will help determine if a significant interaction exists and devise solutions to mitigate the interaction if possible.
The same publication reveals that according to pharmacists, many of the interactions between the drugs and manageable, and they should not exclude most people from taking Pfizer’s Paxlovid.