COVID-19 Treatment

Illustration of COVID-19

Protect Your Health

COVID-19 Treatment

Most people with mild or moderate COVID-19 can recover using at-home over-the-counter treatments like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin). However, some people with COVID-19 may benefit from treatments prescribed by a healthcare provider.  Currently available treatments are Paxlovid, Veklury, and Lagevrio.  

Who is eligible for COVID-19 treatment? 

People who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19  [Español] can receive treatment for COVID-19. This includes :  

  • Adults aged 50 and older  
  • People who are unvaccinated or are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines 
  • People with certain health conditions (lung disease, heart disease, asthma, current and former smokers)  
  • People who live in congregate settings (nursing homes, long term care settings)  
  • People with a weakened immune system  

                      Summary Table of COVID-19 Treatments

DrugHow is it given?When should I take it?Cost for You*Cost for You*
Paxlovid (Nirmatrelvir co-packaged with Ritonavir)
In most patients this is the preferred treatment
Three tablets by mouth twice a day for 5 days for people with normal kidney function.
For people with moderate kidney disease, the dose is lower. Contact your healthcare provider.
Within 5 days of symptoms startingTypically no cost but potential fees may apply for medication and or visitNo cost for medication, potential fees for your evaluation
Veklury (Remdesivir)
In most patients, this is the second-line preferred treatment
IV (given into your vein) for 3 days in a rowWithin 7 days of symptoms startingThere IS a cost for the medication, potential fees for your evaluation and the drug administrationThere IS a cost for the medication, potential fees for your evaluation and the drug administration
Lagevrio (Molnupiravir)
Recommended when you cannot take a preferred treatment
Four capsules by mouth twice a day for 5 daysWithin 5 days of symptoms startingTypically no cost but potential fees may apply for medication and or visitNo cost for medication, potential fees for your evaluation

Treatments for hospitalized COVID-19 patients

There are also treatments available for people who are in the hospital with severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions, please contact your health care provider.

 

Getting COVID-19 Treatment 

If you have COVID-19 or symptoms and are at increased risk of severe illness, you should contact your health care provider right away regardless of how mild your symptoms are.  

Treatments are only available by prescription and work best when you start them within 5 days after symptoms start so don’t delay. 

If you don’t have a healthcare provider, the resources below are available to help you access COVID-19 medical care and treatment:  

Cost of Treatment

Patients may not have to pay for the medication itself, but there may be other fees associated with getting the treatment. Call ahead to your healthcare provider and insurance company to find out how much you may have to pay. 

Patient assistance programs are available to help lower out-of-pocket costs: 

Don’t pay full price! If you’ve been prescribed PAXLOVID for the treatment of COVID-19, there are programs available to reduce the cost of the medication. If eligible, the PAXCESS Patient Support Program makes the medication available at a low cost or even free whether you have insurance or not. You may qualify for free or low cost PAXLOVID if you Have Medicaid or Medicare Have private insurance Are uninsured To see if you’re eligible and to enroll: Call 1-877-219-7225 or Visit https://paxlovid.iassist.com/

What if I’m not eligible for COVID-19 treatment?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you are not at increased-risk for severe illness, your healthcare provider may recommend other treatments to help you feel better and help your body fight the virus. Some examples of things to consider include: 

 

  • Drink plenty of liquids with no caffeine to stay hydrated
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Take medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) may help to reduce fever 

Benefits of vaccination compared to treatments

Vaccination remains the most important tool to control the spread of and prevent COVID-19. Vaccines are free, safe, and widely available to everyone aged 6 months and older. Vaccines have been shown to be effective against newer variants of COVID-19, including Omicron. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination, visit the VDH COVID-19 Vaccination Website.  

Learn more

Resources for more information

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Page last reviewed: June 13, 2024