Oral Treatments

Oral Treatments

In January 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved Lagevrio® and Paxlovid® oral treatments for COVID-19. These medicines are used for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults with mild to moderate illness, who are at higher risk of developing severe disease. The aim of treatment is to prevent high risk patients from deteriorating and needing hospitalisation.

Lagevrio® (molnupirivir) and Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir + ritonavir) are both listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for eligible patients and can be accessed on prescription through community pharmacy. These oral COVID-19 treatments are not suitable for everyone, and individual patients will need to be assessed by their prescriber to determine whether they are suitable.

These treatments are antiviral medicines that stop the virus that causes COVID-19 from replicating in the body. This lowers the risk of developing severe disease.

To achieve the best outcomes, oral COVID-19 treatments need to be started as soon as possible after a COVID-19 diagnosis, and no later than 5 days after diagnosis.

People who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive PBS-subsidised oral COVID-19 treatments:

  • People 65 years or older with two additional high-risk factors for developing severe disease,
  • People 75 years or older with one additional high-risk factor for developing severe disease,
  • Moderately to severely immunocompromised people irrespective of vaccination status, and
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years or older with two additional high-risk factors for developing severe disease.

Yes, a prescription is required to access Lagevrio® or Paxlovid® through a community pharmacy.

It is important that your prescriber and pharmacist are aware of other medicines that you are taking, including non-prescription and complementary medicines, so that they can advise if any medicines need to be adjusted during treatment for COVID-19.

You can search Find a Pharmacy to see the pharmacies in your area that stock oral COVID-19 treatments. Your pharmacy may not have stock of these medicines on a particular day if patient demand has been high.