Today you have several treatment options to prevent hospitalization and other serious complications of COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved drug treatments for COVID-19 and has authorized others for emergency use. In addition, more therapies are being tested in clinical trials to evaluate whether they are safe and effective in treating COVID-19.
Of course no treatment is a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. Find an updated COVID-19 vaccine near you at vaccines.gov.
But if you have COVID-19 symptoms and test positive, do not wait to talk to your health care professional about available treatment options. They will know the best option for you based on your symptoms, risks and health history. Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a health care professional and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective.
COVID-19 medications are available through your health care professional, pharmacies, hospitals and health clinics. Here’s a closer look at some COVID-19 treatments and how to get more information about them and others.
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 drug that is FDA-approved, or available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), is right for you. Drugs authorized under an EUA are listed on the FDA’s EUA page. Also, the U.S. government maintains a locator tool for certain COVID-19 therapeutics.
What treatments are available for COVID-19?
If you are infected but being treated outside of the hospital, the FDA has approved Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use) to treat COVID-19 in certain adults.
For certain adult and pediatric patients with COVID-19, the FDA has approved Veklury (remdesivir). This intravenous (IV) therapy is approved for use to treat COVID-19 in both for patients who don’t require hospitalization and those hospitalized.
For certain hospitalized adults with COVID-19, the FDA has also approved Olumiant (baricitinib) and Actemra (tocilizumab).
Under certain conditions, the FDA may authorize the use of unapproved drugs or unapproved uses of approved drugs. This is called an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Therapies currently available under EUA for COVID-19 include drugs or treatments effective against viruses (antivirals) and medicines that change your immune system so it works more effectively (commonly referred to as immune modulators).
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. The development of COVID-19 therapeutics that are effective against current and future variants remains a critical priority. We will continue to strive to facilitate access to safe, effective and high-quality treatments for COVID-19.
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 [email protected]. Also, learn about fraudulent COVID-19 products.
- To check whether a drug is approved by the FDA, search the database of approved drugs: Drugs@FDA database.
- To see if the drug is authorized for COVID 19, visit FDA’s EUA page.
- You can also visit the FDA’s webpage on COVID-19 therapeutics.
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.
I have heard that some people continue to feel poorly even after the acute infection has resolved.
When people have symptoms for weeks, months or even years after a SARS-CoV-2 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.