COVID-19 Therapeutics

Treatment When You Have COVID-19

There are treatments for those who test positive for COVID-19:

  • Oral antiviral medications
  • Intravenous (IV) antiviral medications

These doctor-recommended treatments for COVID-19 can keep you from getting sicker and being hospitalized. Treatment is most important if you are at high risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19. The earlier you start treatment after your symptoms start the more effective it is, so get tested as soon as you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Also, treatment will help protect your household from COVID-19.

Treatment with Oral Antiviral Medications

If you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last five days, call your healthcare provider right away and ask about treatment with oral antiviral medications.

Important Reminders About Picking Up Your Prescription

For the safety of others, it’s best not to enter the store when picking up a prescription to treat COVID-19. Please consider:

  • Contacting the pharmacy ahead of time to confirm your prescription is ready for pick-up.
  • Using the drive-thru lane (e.g. Walgreens and CVS) or curbside pick-up option (e.g. Stop & Shop) to avoid going inside the store.
  • Asking if a staff member can bring your prescription to the front entrance.
  • Asking the pharmacy about other options including same-day delivery.
  • Having a friend or family member pick up your prescription.

Treatment with IV Antiviral Medications

If you test positive for COVID-19 and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last seven days, and are not a candidate for the oral drugs to treat COVID-19call your healthcare provider right away and ask about treatment with IV antiviral medications. Children who test positive for COVID-19, are age 28 days or older, weigh 3 kg (approximately 6.5 pounds) or more, and have had mild to moderate symptoms in the last seven days, are also eligible for treatment.

  • This is an infusion which will take between 30 to 120 minutes followed by an hour of observation.  You will also be monitored for an additional 60 minutes after the infusion.
  • This infusion is to take place three days in a row.
  • Your healthcare provider will need to refer you to an infusion center after evaluation.

Test to Treat

Rhode Island also has several Test to Treat sites, where patients can get tested for COVID-19 and, if they’re positive and eligible, get a prescription for treatment all at one location. To find a Test to Treat site near you, visit aspr.hhs.gov/TestToTreat

Frequently Asked Questions

What are antiviral medications?

Antivirals are medications that attack the virus and help your body fight off infection.

Who can get treatment when they have COVID-19?

You can get treatment with oral antivirals if you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last five days. 

You can get treatment with IV antivirals if you test positive for COVID-19 and started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last seven days. Children who test positive for COVID-19, are age 28 days or older, weigh 3 kg (approximately 6.5 pounds) or more, and have had mild to moderate symptoms in the last seven days, are also eligible for treatment.

Call your healthcare provider right away and ask whether you can and should get treatment for COVID-19.  Treatment is most important if you are at high risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19.

If you don’t have a regular healthcare provider, visit health.ri.gov/find/urgentcare.

If you do not have or have lost your health insurance, learn about accessing healthcare and support services.

 

Can I get treatment for COVID-19 while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their healthcare provider about getting treatment for COVID-19.

 

Who should not get treatment when they have COVID-19?

If you are hospitalized, your treatment may be different than if you are at home. Please reach out to your healthcare provider for consultation on which treatment, if any, would be right for you.  

 

What if I have COVID-19 and cannot get treatment with IV antivirals or oral antivirals?

Talk to your healthcare provider about other treatments that are right for you.

Does treatment for COVID-19 work?

Clinical trials for treatment with oral antivirals have shown a decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits and a decrease in the amount of virus in an infected person's blood. Studies are still ongoing.

Preferred

Alternative

 

What are the side effects of treatment for COVID-19?

Clinical studies are ongoing to evaluate the usefulness and safety of treatment for COVID-19 with oral antivirals. It is possible that not all risks are known yet.

Preferred

Alternative

The side effects of getting any medicine by vein, such as MABS, may include brief pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, and possible infection at the infusion site. Rarely, people may have allergic reactions.

How is treatment with oral antivirals and IV antivirals given?

Treatment with oral antivirals is a five-day pill series you can take at home. Your healthcare provider can send your prescription to a pharmacy near you that has oral antivirals.

 

Where can I get treatment?

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should get treatment for COVID-19 and where you can get it.

  • Your healthcare provider can prescribe your oral antiviral medication and send the prescription to a pharmacy near you that has oral antivirals.
  • Your healthcare provider can prescribe the IV antiviral infusion and work with you on the best location to receive the infusion.

Will my insurance cover treatment for COVID-19?

The cost for oral antiviral treatment is currently free as the medications are provided by the federal government. IV antiviral infusion cost will be based on insurance as this is a fully approved medication and not federally funded.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had treatment for COVID-19?

Yes. You can get vaccinated at any time after getting treatment with oral antivirals or IV antivirals if you have completed your isolation period.

If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (primary dose or booster) by three months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test.

If you have any questions about vaccination, talk to your healthcare provider.

 

Can I get treatment after I’ve gotten any COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. You can get treatment with oral antivirals and IV antivirals any time after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Treatment with oral antivirals should begin within five days of symptom onset. Treatment with VEKLURY should begin within seven days of symptom onset.