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Can I use new drugs or therapeutics to treat COVID-19? Where do I get them?

Last Updated: 01/30/2023

COVID-19 Therapeutics Overview
If you test positive for COVID-19, you should ask your healthcare provider about whether a treatment is right for you.

For patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are not hospitalized and who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, several treatment options, including antiviral medications and monoclonal antibodies, are now widely available and accessible.

Each treatment option has its own eligibility criteria and suggested use. Your healthcare provider can determine whether you are eligible and what treatment is best for you.

Currently, all therapies require a prescription and should be used in addition to COVID-19 vaccines. These treatments are NOT a substitute for COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccination and other prevention measures are still recommended.

Not all treatments will be available from all healthcare providers.

Check Local Availability

Need additional information about where to find a treatment nearby? The HHS Test to Treat Call Center is available at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). Information is available in more than 150 languages. The Disability Information and Access Line is available at 1-888-677-1199.

How to Access

  1. If you test positive and are an older adult or someone who is at increased risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, treatment is available. Contact a healthcare provider right away after a positive COVID-19 test to determine if you are eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild. You can also visit a Test to Treat location and, if eligible, receive a prescription from a provider at that location.
  2. Follow CDC guidance on testing for COVID-19 and use the Test to Treat or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to find a testing location that can provide treatment if you test positive.
  3. Don't delay: Treatment must be started within the first few days of when your symptoms started to be effective.
  4. Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination is still the best way to prevent serious outcomes of COVID-19, including severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Oral Antivirals for Treatment

Oral antivirals are pills that can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in patients at high-risk for severe COVID-19, if treatment is started within five days of symptom onset. The two oral antivirals authorized for emergency use against COVID-19 require a prescription.

Authorized outpatient treatments:

  1. Paxlovid (Pfizer)
  1. Lagevrio, previously called Molnupiravir (Merck)

Eligibility Information:
An oral antiviral may be appropriate for you if ALL of the following apply:

How to Access:
A prescription is required. If you have started COVID-19 symptoms within the past five days, you should discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your health care provider.

If you do not have a routine health care provider. Test-to-Treat locations offer the opportunity to get evaluated, receive a prescription, and get the treatment dispensed in a one-stop location.

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are available to help uninsured individuals.

HHS' COVID-19 Therapeutics Locator has a list of locations that have reported inventory on hand in the last day:

Additional Information for Health Care Providers

Health care providers should discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with their patients. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed guidance:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a Side-by-Side Overview of Outpatient Therapies Authorized for Treatment of Mild-Moderate COVID-19 to help patients and providers make informed decisions.

Healthcare Provider Letter about Dispensing Information for Paxlovid
Paxlovid Patient Eligibility Screening Checklist Tool for Prescriber