The emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant highlights the importance of having multiple tools in our toolbox to fight this virus. Two of these new tools that could be coming shortly are Molnupiravir and Paxlovid. They are the latest oral antiviral medications that have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. These antivirals will fill a much-needed gap as the current COVID-19 treatments – Remdesivir and monoclonal antibodies – can only be administered intravenously once you have been admitted to a hospital. Having a short course of readily available oral medication that can be taken at home is a game-changer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to review these drugs before the end of the year and determine if they should be granted emergency-use authorization.
As more studies on potential COVID-19 treatments are underway, it is safe to expect the number of tools available to treat COVID-19 will increase. As our toolbox grows, this will help us all adapt and overcome COVID-19.