Paxlovid significantly reduces elderly deaths from Covid in study

A large study done in Israel showed that the antiviral Paxlovid, made by Pfizer, significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 among the elderly. The drug is the same drug that was used by US President Joe Biden in July this year when he was diagnosed with the infection.

In Brazil, Paxlovid has been released by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) since May 2022. It is indicated for immediate use after the first symptoms of the disease by adults who have a positive diagnosis and are at high risk of progression to severe disease.

The research done at Clalit Health Services, an Israeli health services organization, is one of the first to look at the drug’s effectiveness in the real world. The results were peer-reviewed and published in The New England Journal of Medicine on August 24.

It was carried out between January and March of this year, when the country was experiencing a wave of cases caused by the Ômicron variant. Contrary to what was observed in a previous Pfizer study, the use of Paxlovid did not show significant results in the treatment of adults aged between 40 and 64 years with comorbidities.

Israeli study

The scientists analyzed data from approximately 110,000 patients with an average age of 60 years – the youngest was 40 years old -, with a positive diagnosis for Covid-19. All were considered high risk. Most participants were vaccinated, had a history of previous coronavirus infection, or fit both profiles.

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Among all people infected with the new coronavirus, approximately 80% have mild cases of Covid-19. According to the Minas Gerais Health Department, most patients do not need hospitalization and recover completely without any specific treatment for the disease.freepik

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The orientation is that people diagnosed with the virus consult the doctor to find out what the appropriate treatment is and if there is a need for hospitalization. If the patient does not need to be hospitalized, he can be treated at home. Pixabay

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The recommended treatment for mild cases of Covid-19 is similar to that of other respiratory infections caused by viruses, such as the flu. The doctor may also prescribe medication to relieve symptoms and indicate isolation.Pixabay

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Among the 42,821 patients aged 65 and over, 2,484 were treated with Paxlovid. At the end of the study, 766 of those who were not medicated needed to be hospitalized with Covid-19 and only 11 of those who took the drug were hospitalized, which indicates a risk reduction of 73%.

The drug was also effective in preventing deaths, with a 79% decrease in the chance of death. In all, 158 of the 40,337 untreated elderly patients died, and two who used Paxlovid died.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Paxlovid significantly reduces elderly deaths Covid study

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