Paxrovid, an oral treatment pill developed by Pfizer for the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). /photo = Reuters
On the 27th (local time), NBC News reported that the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s oral treatment for the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), Paxrovid, and some drugs could be dangerous if taken together.
According to the report, experts advised not to use Paxrovid with antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering statins, or blood thinners.
One dose of Paxrovid consists of 3 tablets: 2 tablets of nirmatrelvir, an antiviral drug, and 1 tablet, 1 tablet of ritonavir, an antiretroviral drug that is also used as a treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Among them, ritonavir inhibits a key liver enzyme called CYP3A. Ritonavir, which is included in Pfizer’s treatment, inhibits the antiviral decomposition function of CYP3A, thereby helping the antiviral drug nirmatrelvir to last longer.
Conversely, experts say that when ritonavir meets a drug that activates CYP3A, a toxic interaction may occur.
CYP3A activators are used as blood thinners, antihemostatic drugs, arrhythmias, hypertension, high cholesterol drugs, antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, immunosuppressants, steroids, HIV drugs, and erectile dysfunction drugs.
However, not all of these drugs are banned. NBC reported that it is only necessary to lower the dose than usual or replace it with another drug when taking Paxrovid.
“Pharmacists are highly trained professionals in drug safety and monitoring,” said Emily Zavoni, executive director of the Colorado Pharmacy Society, in an interview with NBC.
It is important for people who need Paxrovid to inform their health care provider of the exact list of medications and supplements they are taking.
Reporter Lee Bo-bae, Hankyung.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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