Pfizer executives are now saying that patients who suffer a relapse in COVID-19 symptoms after taking a full course of Paxlovid should just take more of the treatment.
However, current U.S. guidelines limit use to five consecutive days.
“Paxlovid does what it has to do: it reduces the viral load,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said. “Then your body is supposed to do the job.” But for unknown reasons, the CEO said, some patients aren’t able to clear the virus with the first course of treatment.
In cases where virus levels do rebound, Bourla said, “then you give a second course, like you do with antibiotics, and that’s it.”
The FDA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
While Paxlovid is available under emergency use authorization, it hasn’t yet gained full approval. Prescribing directions suggest that the drug is “not authorized for use for longer than 5 consecutive days.”