Colorado doctors warn of drug interactions with new COVID-19 treatment pills

DENVER (KDVR) — New drugs approved to treat COVID-19 may pose a risk depending on what other drugs patients are taking.

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, new antiviral pills are giving a sense of hope to many. Pfizer claims its pill has reduced hospitalizations and serious infections by almost 90% if taken within three days of the onset of patient symptoms.

However, only a few patients will currently have access to this treatment in Colorado.

“The supply is very limited, so you want to give it to your covid-positive patients with the highest risk of progression to hospitalization,” said Amy Gutierrez, vice president of pharmacy services at UCHealth.

The tricky part is that people at high risk often take medication daily to treat chronic conditions and medical professionals say research shows that these COVID pills, especially Paxlovid, could have interactions with a number of these. medications.

“I look at the list and it’s probably about 30 medications you have that are contraindicated,” Gutierrez said.

“If you take this drug and a cholesterol drug, either the cholesterol drug may not make that drug work as effectively, or the drug may interact with that other drug and you may feel dizzy, you may feel lightheaded if you’re on an alpha-blocker,” said Dr. Scott Joy, chief medical officer of HealthOne Physician Services Group.

From blood thinners, antiepileptics, antidepressants and sleeping pills to kidney problems and HIV, these Colorado pharmacy and hospital chiefs tell FOX31 problem solvers they’ll need to weigh the risks of these interactions before giving a prescription.

“Someone who may have HIV, one of the agents in Paxolvid is an HIV drug, so what impact does it have if they have unchecked or undiagnosed HIV, we also have to take that account,” Gutierrez said. “I think right now if they’re contraindicated, we don’t use them.”

In situations where inconsistencies are not an issue, or prescribers feel the risk is worth it for the individual patient, they want the pill charge commitment of the treatments to be considered as well.

“We want to avoid any resistance or mutation that might come from partial treatment,” Joy said. “We know it’s something that comes with antibiotics. We don’t know yet with this class of drugs, but if you’re going to get a prescription for it, you have to commit to taking six to eight pills for five days.

About Michael Bill

Check Also

Small-molecule drug could offer breakthrough treatment for cancerous brain tumors

A new type of small-molecule drug, the first to target circadian clock proteins as a …