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COVID-19 drug therapies in New Brunswick
PaxlovidTM, an oral anti-viral treatment for COVID-19 and EvusheldTM, a preventative treatment are available in New Brunswick for certain individuals. For more information on treatments currently available in New Brunswick click on the name below:
On January 17, 2022, Health Canada authorized nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™), Canada’s first oral antiviral treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults who do not require hospitalization and are at high risk of progressing to serious illness.
Paxlovid is a therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 which is currently approved for people who have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
Paxlovid is an oral antiviral that can be taken at home.
Therapeutic treatment like Paxlovid is currently only available for people who are at high risk of serious illness. Paxlovid is not a substitute for vaccination.
Paxlovid does not stop you from getting COVID-19. It is used to prevent severe illness in people who are at higher risk from COVID-19.
Paxlovid has numerous significant and serious drug interactions and may not be appropriate for all people.
To be effective, it must be taken within 5 days of developing symptoms.
Who can benefit from treatment with PaxlovidTM
Paxlovid is recommended for adults over 18 if they:
- have tested positive for COVID-19 on a PCR Test, Abbott ID Now or Point of Care Test (POCT); and
- have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 that started within the last 5 days, and
- are at higher risk of severe outcomes.
You may be considered at higher risk of severe outcomes if you meet one or more of the following:
- are not fully vaccinated,
- are an older adult - risk increases with age,
- have one or more chronic medical conditions,
- are moderately to severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition or treatment,
Depending on your age and health status, you may still be considered at higher risk of developing severe outcomes - even if you have received all of the COVID-19 vaccine doses that you are eligible for.
How to access PaxlovidTM
- Contact your primary care provider.
- Inform your provider that you have tested positive for COVID-19, and you would like to be assessed for Paxlovid.
- If you do not have or cannot reach your primary care provider, please contact a participating pharmacy to be assessed. The list of participating pharmacies can be found here.
- If you cannot access a provider or pharmacy to be assessed, then call 811 or visit https://www.evisitnb.ca/. You will be assessed and, if appropriate, will be given an appointment with a nurse practitioner or doctor.
- To access Paxlovid, individuals must have a confirmed positive test, either PCR or Point of Care Test (POCT) and start Paxlovid within 5 days of symptom onset.
COVID-19 preventative treatment
On April 14, 2022, Health Canada authorized Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab). EvusheldTM is a preventive treatment designed for people at high risk for complications if they were to contract COVID-19.
EvusheldTM is a medication that must be given by intramuscular injection by an authorized health professional.
Who can benefit from treatment with EvusheldTM
Individuals 18 years of age or older who:
1. Are severely immunocompromised, regardless of vaccination status. This includes:
- Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years or taking immunosuppressant therapy)
- Undergoing therapy for hematological malignancies
- Receiving anti-B cell therapies (monoclonal antibodies targeting CD19, CD20 and CD22)
- Receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy
- Other select patients with severe primary or secondary immunodeficiency for whom the treating physician determines that benefit outweighs the risk
2. Have contraindications to COVID-19 vaccines AND at high risk of poor outcomes, including severe disease, hospitalization, or death, including:
- 60 years of age or older
- Obesity (BMI > 30)
- Chronic lung disease (including asthma)
- Chronic metabolic disease (including diabetes)
- Chronic kidney or liver disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Sickle cell disease
- Immunosuppression, or receiving immunosuppressive therapy.
EvusheldTM is not recommended for patients with previous history of myocardial infarction, unstable coronary artery disease, heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft, arrhythmia, cardiomegaly, cardiomyopathy, cardio-respiratory arrest or any other unstable or significant cardiac condition.
How to access EvusheldTM
- Contact your primary care provider.
- If you do not have or cannot reach your primary care provider, call 811.