The 3 antiviral medicines in the table below are available to treat mild to moderate COVID-19. Two are medicines that are taken by mouth and one is an IV infusion. They all work by helping to prevent the virus from multiplying in your body. All 3 medicines are authorized or approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19.
- Paxlovid is the recommended treatment for most people. It is very effective, easy to take, and safe. Talk to your doctor if you are taking other medicines. They may tell you to stop or lower the dose of your medicines while you take Paxlovid.
- The most common side effects are mild, such as nausea or a bitter taste. Learn more about side effects for Paxlovid or Molnupiravir.
|Treatment||Who it is suitable for||When to start the medicine||How to take the medicine|
|Adults and children ages 12 and over who weigh at least 88 pounds.||As soon as possible. Must begin within 5 days of symptoms starting||By mouth at home twice a day for 5 days|
|Adults (18 yrs and older)|
|Adults and children over 28 days old who weigh at least 3kg (about 7 pounds)||As soon as possible. Within 7 days of symptoms starting||By infusion into a vein at a healthcare facility every day for 3 days|
*Molnupiravir is not recommended for use during pregnancy and is only recommended if other treatment medications are not available or appropriate.
Rebound infection is uncommon and usually mild.
- Rebound infection is when a person’s symptoms return and they test positive a few days after they tested negative.
- Rebound also happens in people who have not received any treatment for COVID.
- It is mild in over 99% of cases.
- Most people who are treated do not get rebound. Even if they do, it is important to know that rebound is NOT treatment failure - the medications still work to prevent severe illness. The risk of rebound is not a reason to avoid treatment.
- For more information see FAQs: COVID-19 Rebound.
Only take treatments prescribed by a health care provider.
People have been seriously harmed and even died after taking products not authorized for COVID-19, even if they have been approved or prescribed for other uses.
COVID-19 Treatments Are Not a Substitute for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Vaccines are safe, effective, free, and widely available. They can protect you and others from getting sick with COVID-19.