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  1. Consumer Updates

Know Your Treatment Options for COVID-19

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Patients today have more treatment options in the battle against coronavirus disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved drug treatments for COVID-19 and has authorized others for emergency use. In addition, many more therapies are being tested in clinical trials to evaluate whether they are safe and effective in combating COVID-19.

Talk to your health care professional about available treatment options if you have COVID-19. Your provider will know the best option for you based on your symptoms, risks and health history.

COVID-19 medications are available through your health care professional, pharmacies, hospitals and health clinics. If you have COVID-19 symptoms and test positive, do not wait to get treated. Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a health care professional and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective. The Treatment Locator can help you find a location that offers testing and treatment or a pharmacy where you can fill your prescription.

Here’s a closer look at some of the available COVID-19 treatments and how to get more information about them and others. For more information and resources, visit covid.gov.

What treatments are available for COVID-19?

The FDA has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for adults and certain pediatric patients with COVID-19. This intravenous (IV) therapy is approved for use in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized settings. The FDA has also approved the immune modulators Olumiant (baricitinib) and Actemra (tocilizumab) for certain hospitalized adults with COVID-19. In addition, the FDA has approved the oral antiviral pill Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use) to treat COVID-19 in certain adults. 

The FDA may authorize the use of unapproved drugs or unapproved uses of approved drugs, under certain conditions. This is called an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Types of EUA products currently available for COVID-19 include antivirals, immune modulators, and renal replacement therapies. Some approved drugs – including Paxlovid, Actemra and Olumiant – are also authorized under EUA for eligible children. Paxlovid manufactured and packaged under the EUA also continues to be available to ensure continued access for eligible adults, as well as for treatment of eligible children. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are symptomatic, contact your health care professional to see whether these treatment options are right for you.

Therapeutic drugs and non-vaccine biological products authorized under an EUA are listed on the FDA’s EUA page. These products are not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. Find a COVID‑19 vaccine and booster near you at vaccines.gov.

The FDA continues to work with developers, researchers, manufacturers, the National Institutes of Health and other partners to help expedite the development and availability of therapeutic drugs and biological products to prevent or treat COVID-19. To check whether a drug is approved by the FDA, search the database of approved drugs: Drugs@FDA database.

Researchers are studying drugs that are already approved for other health conditions as possible treatments for COVID-19. Additionally, the FDA created the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) to assess new treatments and move them to patients as quickly as possible.

What should I do if I have, or think I have, COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommendations for people who are sick with COVID-19 or think they might have it. For more information and resources, visit covid.gov.

If you think you need a COVID-19 diagnostic test, you can find a community testing site in your state. You can also use an FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test, which gives you the option of self-testing where it is convenient for you.

Be aware that COVID-19 diagnostic tests are authorized for specific uses. For example, some tests can be used by people with and without symptoms, and other tests are only for people with symptoms. Also, laboratory-based tests, such as polymerase chain reaction or PCR tests, are generally more accurate than at-home tests.

How can I access COVID-19 treatments?

Depending on your medical history, risks and symptoms, your health care professional can help you determine whether a therapy that is FDA-approved, or available under an EUA, is right for you. Also, the U.S. government maintains a locator tool for certain COVID-19 therapeutics.

What if my health care provider doesn’t know about COVID-19 treatment options?

Information about treatment options is available on this page. For information specifically about EUAs, direct your health care professional to the FDA’s EUA page, where fact sheets for health care providers are available on authorized treatments. Your health care professional can also contact the FDA’s Division of Drug Information at 301-796-3400 or druginfo@fda.hhs.gov.

There’s a lot of information online. How can I know what drugs are safe?

Always check that your information is from a trusted source. If you have questions about any medication, contact the FDA’s Division of Drug Information at 301-796-3400 or druginfo@fda.hhs.gov. Also, read this Consumer Update to learn about fraudulent COVID-19 products.

How can I participate in a COVID-19-related clinical trial?

Talk to your health care professional about possibly enrolling in a clinical trial in your area. For information about clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments, visit clinicaltrials.gov and the COVID-19 Prevention Network.

When people have symptoms for weeks, months or even years after COVID-19 infection, it is called long COVID. The NIH has created the RECOVER Initiative to learn about the long-term effects of COVID-19. Whether or not you have had COVID-19, you may be able to participate in RECOVER research.

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