Paxlovid has been deemed one of the gold standard Covid treatments in the U.S., even being touted by President Joe Biden at his State of the Union address this year.
Some of those who used the drug to treat the virus are reporting an interesting phenomena, though.
The drug, developed by Pfizer, is believed to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization or death in a person that has already been infected with the virus, but some who had their symptoms initially clear up after using the drug are reporting feeling symptoms again later on.
There are multiple reports that a people will also start testing positive for Covid once again after the five day treatment period concludes.
Experts are not sure why this is occurring, or what could be causing a person that is seemingly fine to later start feeling sick against from the same infection.
Some recipients of Pfizer’s antiviral Covid pill Paxlovid are reporting that their virus symptoms return after their course of the drug ends, and even that they start testing positive for the virus again (file photo)
‘We had three cases in the house with the same pattern,’ John Donoghue, 71, told the Boston Globe.
‘The symptoms the second time were milder … in some ways, we feel that Paxlovid did its job. It took away the extreme symptoms of the first round and reduced them very quickly in all three cases.’
He reported that he, his wife and is mother, 95, all began to take the drug after contracted Covid.
Each started to feel better after using Paxlovid, but and even began to test negative, before their symptoms and positive test status returned once again.
Dr Paul Sax, an infectious disease expert at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told the Globe he had heard about the same occurring in patients as well.
‘We continue to monitor data from our ongoing clinical studies and real-world evidence. We have not seen any resistance to Paxlovid, and remain very confident in its clinical effectiveness,’ Pfizer told DailyMail.com when asked for comment.
At his 2022 State of the Union Address, President Joe Biden (pictured) touted Paxlovid, and said that he would make sure the drug was distributed to those who wanted it
The company noted that in clinical trials, the drug reduced risk of hospitalization or death by nearly 90 percent in two patient groups.
The drug’s arrival was met with fanfare among health and pharmacy experts across the world because of its successful trials.
It received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in late 2021.
While the New York City-based company initially ran into supply issues, hindering the rollout early on, there is reportedly an excess of the drug available in the U.S. at the moment.
‘It’s important to recognize treatments available today for COVID-19 have provided a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of the pandemic,’ the company wrote.
‘Our trials and real-world evidence demonstrated that the treatment has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce severity of infections and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations.’
Pfizer responded to the reports by mentioning its highly successful clinical trials for the drug, and that there is no evidence of resistance to Paxlovid (file photo)
Excitement for the drug was so high that President Biden even spoke of it at his State of the Union address earlier this year, and said that any American that needed the drug would have access to it.
Some of those patients that did receive the drug are now reporting oddities with their infections after taking the drug, though.
Experts told the Globe that the likely mechanism at play for the Donoghues, and others who have experienced similar phenomena can be described as a game of cat and mouse.
‘It’s literally that the Paxlovid is the cat, it suppresses the virus, and then when the cat’s gone, the mice come out to play,’ Dr. Michael Charness, chief of staff at Veterans Affairs Boston told the Globe.
‘Paxlovid works really well while it’s there, and for many people, they can eliminate the virus in a single phase of infection,’
‘But for some people, maybe because it takes a little longer to ramp up immunity, they can’t get rid of [all the virus] and the Paxlovid is no longer there to help.’
There are no trials, studies, or other concrete scientific evidence that supports the existence of this type of infectious bounce-back after someone takes Paxlovid, though some Boston area researchers have launched investigations.