NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health has announced that the state will receive its first delivery of oral pills to treat early COVID-19 infections later this week. NMDOH reports that the supply of oral medications will initially be very limited and that demand is expected to exceed the available supply.
This has led to the access of oral medications being initially available only to counties that don’t have monoclonal antibody infusion sites as well as areas with limited access to monoclonal antibody infusions. The department states that residents in these communities typically have more difficulty accessing medical care so, in an effort to help increase access to COVID-19 treatment and reduce hospitalizations, patients in these areas will be prioritized.
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Last week, the FDA granted emergency use authorizations for Molnupiavir and Paxlovid. These antiviral medications reduce the ability of a virus to replicate, which decreases the total amount of virus in the body.
NMDOH reports that antiviral medications reduce the symptoms of a viral infection and shorten the length of illness. Both oral treatments are expected to remain effective against the omicron variant as they don’t target the spike protein where most of the strain’s mutations are.
NMDOH urges New Mexicans get tested and talk to their health provider about treatment options at the first sign of COVID-19. NMDOH lists the following as some of the risk factors associated with more severe outcomes from COVID-19:
- Age 65 years and older
- Obesity / BMI 35+
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic respiratory disease
Additional information on oral therapeutics for COVID-19 can be found online at cv.nmhealth.org.