DENVER (KDVR) – New drugs approved to treat COVID-19 may pose risks depending on what other medications the patient is taking.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, new antiviral drugs offer a sense of hope for many. Pfizer says its drug reduces hospitalizations and severe infections by nearly 90 percent if taken within three days of symptoms.
However, currently only a handful of patients have access to this alternative in Colorado.
“Supply is very limited, so you want to give it to patients who test positive for the highest risk of hospitalization,” said UCHealth Associate Director of Pharmaceutical Services Amy Gutierrez.
The tricky part is, people at high risk are often taking daily medications to treat chronic conditions, and medical experts say research shows these covid pills, especially Paxlovid, can have interact with some of those drugs.
“I’m looking at list and maybe about 30 drugs that you have are contraindicated,” says Gutierrez.
“If you are taking this and a cholesterol medication, the cholesterol medicine may not make this medicine work as well or it may interact with another medication, so you may experience dizziness, get dizzy if you’re on an alpha blocker,” said HealthOne Physician Services Group Medical Director, Dr Scott Joy.
From blood thinners, anticonvulsants, antidepressants and sleep aids to kidney problems and HIV, these Colorado hospital and pharmacy chiefs told Fox31 Problem Solver that they will have to weigh the risks of these interactions before giving a prescription.
“Someone can get HIV,” says Gutierrez, “one of the agents in Paxolvid is an HIV drug. “I think right now if they were contraindicated we wouldn’t use them.”
In situations where conflict is not an issue, or prescribers find it to be a worthwhile risk for the individual patient, they want to be considered for their commitment to the amount of treatment.
“We wanted to avoid any resistance or mutations that might come from partial treatment of this disease,” Dr. Joy said. “We know that it’s something to do with antibiotics. We don’t know about the drug yet, but if you’re going to get this prescription, you have to commit to taking six to eight pills for five days. ”
https://kdvr.com/news/coronavirus/colorado-doctors-warn-about-drug-interactions-with-new-covid-19-treatment-pills/ Colorado doctors warn of drug interactions with new COVID-19 drugs