COVID-19 Treatment & Therapeutics
Treatments are available that can help you recover more quickly from COVID-19 and avoid possible hospitalization. If you or a loved one tests positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible. Oral treatments must be taken within 5 days of COVID symptoms.
If you have:
- Mild to moderate symptoms
- Your symptoms began within the past few days (no longer than 5 days)
- You are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19
Call your doctor or health care provider as soon as you can to ask about treatment. If you do not have a doctor, pharmacists can now prescribe antiviral treatment if you test positive. Oral antiviral treatments must be taken with five days of symptom onset to be effective.
Step 1: Get Tested
Get tested for COVID-19 on-site or bring your test results from an at-home test to your visit.
Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is available to help people with disabilities access services.
Step 2: Get a prescription
If you test positive for COVID-19, ask your health care provider or pharmacist as soon as possible for a prescription for a COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment. Treatments must be started within 5 days of symptom onset in order to be most effective. Bring any medications (or a list of the medications you are currently taking) with you to your appointment. If you are eligible, your health care provider will write a prescription for an oral antiviral.
Step 3: Fill the prescription
Once you have a prescription for an oral antiviral, take it to a pharmacy to be filled. Call the pharmacy in advance to be sure they have the treatment in stock. A list of pharmacies in Boulder County that should have treatment available can be found at: https://covid19.colorado.gov/getting-covid-19-treatment
Step 4: Begin Treatment
Once your prescription has been filled, follow treatment instructions from your healthcare provider and pharmacist.
There are currently two primary COVID-19 treatments – Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Lagevrio (molnupiravir). Both are antiviral oral therapeutics that can help prevent severe illness and hospitalization when taken within five days of first COVID-19 symptoms.
- Paxlovid is a pill for people who have mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms and are at high risk of getting very sick. People age 12 years or older who weigh at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) can take Paxlovid. It is available by prescription only.
- People who are eligible for Paxlovid should receive it as soon as possible after they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, starting within five days of their first symptoms.
- Molnupiravir is a medication for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, are at high risk of getting very sick, and cannot receive other COVID-19 treatments. Only adults age 18 years and older can take Molnupiravir. Molnupiravir is available by prescription only.
- People who are eligible for Molnupiravir should receive it as soon as possible after they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, starting within five days of their first symptoms.
- Pregnant people should not take Molnupiravir. People who may become pregnant should use effective birth control while they are receiving the treatment and for four days after their last dose.
- Breastfeeding is not recommended while taking Molnupiravir. Talk to your healthcare provider more if you have any questions.
Antiviral therapeutics can be prescribed by healthcare providers to individuals considered at high risk for COVID-19. Patients who have chronic health conditions should talk to their health care provider or visit this page to see if they may be eligible for treatment: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care/underlyingconditions.html
More information on COVID-19 risk factors: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html.
Can I get oral antivirals through my regular health care provider?
Yes. Qualified health care providers can continue to prescribe oral antivirals to eligible patients who are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19, including via telehealth.
Is there a cost to get the treatment?
Qualifying patients can get tested and the oral antiviral at no cost. Inquire with the pharmacy filling your prescription if there is any charge for dispensing the prescription for you.
Can I use a rapid home test and qualify for treatment?
Yes, you can bring your positive test to your medical provider and they can prescribe an oral antiviral if you are eligible.
Are pharmacists themselves able to prescribe the oral antiviral pills?
Yes, pharmacists are now able to prescribe Paxlovid.
What if I don’t have a healthcare provider or I am uninsured?
Please refer to the Test to Treat information below or call our call center at 720-776-0822
Test to Treat
The nationwide Test to Treat initiative was in March 2022 to give people a way to access oral therapeutic treatment for COVID-19. Through the program, people can get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – receive a prescription from a health care provider, and have their prescription filled all at one location.
- A Test to Treat locator is available to help find participating sites.
- A call center is also available at 1-800-232-0233(TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8:00 am to midnight ET, 7 days a week.
- The Disability Information and Access Line(DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm ET or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.
- More information on Test to Treat