ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — The anti-viral, oral medication, Paxlovid, has been approved for emergency use to treat COVID-19, but some medical providers are still hesitant to prescribe it.
Dr. Huda Sharaf is the medical director at the University of Arkansas’s health clinic. She said she’s seen patients come in asking for the drug to treat the virus because other medical providers wouldn’t write the prescription.
“I think there just needs to be some messaging out there. I mean, it’s on the shelves. It’s pretty available at this point,” Sharaf said.
Arkansas Department of Health Director, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, said in some instances, there may be a reason behind the hesitation.
“One of the concerns with this medication is that it has drug interactions with other medications that people could be taking. So, that has to be assessed,” Dillaha said.
The FDA now allows pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid directly, but the patients have to bring their medical records. Fayetteville Health Director, Dr. Marti Sharkey, said that could hold both patients and pharmacists back.
“I just don’t see anyone wanting to go the quick route with going through the pharmacist and then having to get medical records and bring them in,” Sharkey said.
Although they may not be as effective as Paxlovid, Dr. Dillaha said other treatment options are available.
“There’s another one called Molnupiravir, and that’s an option, as well as monoclonal antibodies are an option,” Dillaha said.
Paxlovid is prescribed for use twice daily for five days.