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Oral antiviral treatment works by targeting specific proteins on the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) to prevent efficient virus replication within the host cell.

Paxlovid and molnupiravir reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 88% and 30% respectively, in patients at high-risk for severe COVID-19 when started early after symptom onset.

When filling either drug, pharmacists will need the below information from the provider:

  • Symptom onset date

  • Date of positive COVID test

  • What qualifies the patient as high-risk

  • Paxlovid only: Renal function, complete medication list, and verification that patient does not have severe hepatic impairment, HCV, or HIV


The FDA authorized two oral antivirals, Pfizer's Paxlovid and Merck's molnupiravir, for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain patients who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 and have had symptoms for 5 days or less.

  • Are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

  • Meet certain criteria depending on the antiviral.


Molnupiravir is authorized for use in patients over 18 years and Paxlovid is authorized for patients ages 12 or older who weigh at least 88 pounds.


Many pharmacies across Iowa have received one or both of the oral antivirals to treat COVID-19. ​To find a location dispensing a COVID-19 therapeutic, click here to search by zip code.


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