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Canadian News Jan 17, 2022 12:38 PM EST

Pfizer antiviral pill approved for use by Health Canada

The pill was given the go-ahead for adults with mild or moderate COVID-19, but was not approved for use on teenagers.

Pfizer antiviral pill approved for use by Health Canada
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

Pfizer's antiviral treatment was approved for use by Health Canada on Monday, providing another tool in the fight against the virus.

The pill was given the go-ahead for adults with mild or moderate COVID-19, but was not approved for use on teenagers.

The pill also cannot be used on patients already in hospital for COVID-19.

The pill, named Paxlovid, uses a drug cocktail that prevents the virus causing COVID-19 to replicate inside someone who is infected. The pill has been criticized, however, for causing serious reactions with many common medications.

According to NBC News, the medications will require "careful monitoring" by doctors who prescribe it, stating: "many people prescribed Pfizer’s or Merck’s new medications will require careful monitoring by doctors and pharmacists, and the antivirals may not be safe for everyone, experts caution."

One of the two drugs in the antiviral cocktail could cause serious interactions with prescriptions, including statins, blood thinners and some antidepressants. The pill is not recommended by the FDA for those who have severe liver or kidney disease.

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