Pfizer's Paxlovid Falls Short in Easing Long COVID-19 Symptoms: Stanford Study

By Madz Dizon

Jun 08, 2024 09:35 AM EDT

Stanford Study: Pfizer's Paxlovid Falls Short in Easing Long COVID Symptoms
Pfizer's Paxlovid is displayed on July 07, 2022 in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The US Food and Drug Administration revised the emergency use authorization for Paxlovid, Pfizer's Covid-19 antiviral treatment, to allow state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe the treatment to people.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Researchers at Stanford University have found that a 15-day course of Pfizer Inc.'s antiviral Paxlovid did not offer significant relief for individuals suffering from long COVID-19.

Paxlovid Trial: No Change in Long COVID-19 Symptoms

In their trial, no statistically significant difference was found in the severity of six core symptoms at both 10 and 15 weeks post-treatment. 

This was observed between the group of 102 patients who received the drug twice daily and the group of 53 patients who were given a placebo, Bloomberg reported.

Stanford's STOP-PASC study garnered attention from nearly 800 individuals who were interested in participating. 

This groundbreaking clinical trial is investigating the potential of a longer course of the COVID-19 medication to alleviate persistent symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, and body aches. 

The study aims to target the remaining traces of the coronavirus that are believed to be responsible for at least a portion of individuals experiencing long COVID-19, also known as post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, or PASC.

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Pfizer Study Highlights Urgency for Effective Treatments

Millions of people worldwide are affected by this debilitating condition, with some enduring it for over four years. The study received funding from Pfizer and the pharmaceutical company worked together on the design and execution of the trial.

The researchers emphasized the need for larger studies to investigate longer treatment durations, dosage variations, changes in timing, and individuals who have distinct long COVID-19 symptoms. 

According to experts, it is worth exploring combination therapies that include antivirals and immunomodulators, as the condition is likely influenced by multiple disease pathways.

According to Reuters, Paxlovid is widely prescribed as an at-home treatment for COVID-19 in the US. It has been approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults who are at high risk of experiencing severe complications from the illness.

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