Health Canada’s chief medical advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma announced on Monday that the department has approved Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral pill for COVID-19 treatment.
The medication is intended for use as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of the start of symptoms, Health Canada added.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 therapeutic, which has to be prescribed, is the first COVID-19 treatment pill approved for at-home use in Canada.
Paxlovid should not be used to prevent infection or to treat patients who are already hospitalized due to severe or critical COVID-19, nor should it be taken for longer than five days in a row.
A Pfizer spokesperson told Global News the company is ready to start delivery in Canada immediately. Some supply is already in the country and will be distributed this week, however, it is limited at this time.
Until more Paxlovid pills make it into Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada has offered suggestions about how to best use or triage the current supply. It currently recommends prioritizing the pill for people who are at the highest risk for severe illness and hospitalization, such as the immunocompromised.
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