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Medicine to Treat & Prevent COVID-19

 
SUMMARY

Treating COVID-19
If you have COVID-19, have symptoms, and are at higher risk of getting very sick, you can get medicines that treat COVID-19 and help keep you out of the hospital. Get tested right away if you are at higher risk and have symptoms, even if they are mild. If you test positive, ask for treatment right away.
Don’t delay! Treatment should start as soon as possible. Oral medicines Paxlovid and molnupiravir must be taken within 5 days of the start of symptoms.


Preventing COVID-19
If your immune system is not strong enough to mount a response to the vaccine or if you cannot receive any COVID-19 vaccination for medical reasons, talk to your doctor. An injectable medicine called Evusheld is available help to prevent COVID-19.

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 products approved or prescribed for other uses.

If you need assistance, call 1-833-540-0473
7 days a week, 8:00 am – 8:30 pm.
ON THIS PAGE Ver página en español

DPH COVID-19 Medicines Toolkit for community partners

Community Care Facilities: If you have 3 or more patients with COVID symptoms and a positive test, click here to learn how to request our mobile therapeutics service


WHO CAN GET MEDICINE TO TREAT COVID-19

Who may be eligible for treatment:

People with symptoms and a positive COVID-19 test who are:

  • Age 50 and older
-OR-
  • Unvaccinated or not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations
-OR-
  • Any age upon advice of a provider.

For example, individuals with the following conditions may qualify*:


  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney, liver, or lung disease, including cystic
    fibrosis and tuberculosis
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Disabilities
  • Heart conditions, stroke/cerebrovascular disease
  • Mental health conditions
  • Overweight and obesity, physical inactivity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Substance use disorders
  • Weakened immune system, including HIV infection,
    organ or bone marrow transplant

*The list does not include all possible conditions. For details, visit the CDC webpage People with Certain Medical Conditions. Speak with your provider if you think you might be at high risk.

For information about what to do if you have COVID-19, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidisolation. This includes telling your doctor, monitoring your symptoms, and knowing when you need emergency medical care.

ORAL MEDICINES TO TREAT MILD TO MODERATE COVID-19

Learn about side effects and when to seek medical care for Paxlovid or Molnupiravir.

Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are antiviral medicines that are taken by mouth for 5 days. Antiviral medications reduce the ability of the virus to multiply and spread through the patient's body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs*) for these medicines to treat people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for getting severe COVID-19. Treatment is best given as soon as possible and must begin within 5 days of the start of symptoms. 

  • Paxlovid is for people ages 12 and over who weigh at least 88 pounds.
  • Molnupiravir is for adults ages 18 or over. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy and is only recommended if other treatment medications are not available.

For more information, see the fact sheet for patients/caregivers for Paxlovid and Molnupiravir.

See these FAQs for additional information on COVID-19 rebound after Paxlovid.


WHERE TO GET PAXLOVID AND MOLNUPIRAVIR

These medicines are only available by prescription from healthcare providers, including pharmacists.

  • Ask your provider if you are eligible for treatment. If they give you a prescription, click here, enter your address or zip code, and click on the box “Locations to fill a prescription”.

  • If you don’t have a doctor or can't get an appointment with your doctor or pharmacist, you can get testing and evaluation for treatment through either:
    • A Test to Treat site – click here, enter your address or zip code, and click on the box “Locations with testing, medical visits, and medication (Test-to-Treat)
    • The Public Health Call Center/Tele-Health Service - call 1-833-540-0473 (open 7 days a week, 8:00 am – 8:30 pm).

  • If you don’t have health insurance, you can still access medications for COVID-19 by calling the Public Health Call Center/Tele-Health Service at 1-833-540-0473 (open 7 days a week, 8:00 am – 8:30 pm). The Call Center can also answer questions and help with resources.

To help protect others, if you need to leave home to get medical care, wear a well-fitting medical mask or respirator or a well-fitting non-cloth mask with multiple layers of non-woven material and a nose wire. See ph.lacounty.gov/masks for more information. Have someone else who does not have COVID-19 pick up your prescription if possible.

INJECTABLE MEDICINE TO TREAT MILD TO MODERATE COVID-19
Wear a mask
  • Remdesivir (Veklury) is an antiviral medication. It is approved by the FDA for treating adults and children over 28 days old who weigh at least 3kg (about 7 pounds). For outpatient treatment, it is given through a vein for 3 days in a row. It is given within 7 days of the start of symptoms, the sooner the better.
MEDICATION TO PREVENT COVID-19

Evusheld is a monoclonal antibody-based medicine. It is used before a person is exposed to COVID-19 to prevent them from getting infected. It is given as 2 separate injections into the buttocks during a single visit. The FDA has issued an EUA* for Evusheld for people who can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons or whose immune system is not strong enough to mount a response to the vaccine. It is for people ages 12 and over who weigh at least 88lb.

For more information, talk to your doctor and see the fact sheets for patients/caregivers for Evusheld.

MEDICATIONS ARE FREE, BUT CHECK FOR OTHER COSTS
Wear a mask

There is currently no cost for the COVID-19 medications on this page, but the treating facility may charge for administering the drug. Medicare and Medi-Cal cover all costs. The DPH Tele-health Service is completely free. Check your insurance plan, as many large private insurance plans cover costs. If you do not have insurance, ask the treatment facility if there are fees.

*EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION (EUA)

In an emergency when lives are at risk, the FDA can issue an EUA to make a treatment available before it has completed a formal approval process as long as there’s evidence that strongly suggests that people benefit from the treatment. The FDA can also issue an EUA for unapproved uses of approved drugs for life-threatening conditions. Certain conditions must be met for an EUA to be issued, including that there are no other adequate, approved, and available options.

To learn more about EUAs, visit the FDA EUA webpage.


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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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