Can long term paxlovid help long covid

Can Longer-Term Paxlovid Mitigate Long COVID?

A new research study aims to enroll 1,700 participants at sites across the USA to determine whether a 15-day course of Paxlovid – which is three times longer than the usual course taken for acute COVID – can mitigate or clear long COVID symptoms.


For several years now, Gabriel San Emeterio has been living with HIV as well as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)―a condition marked by chronic and debilitating pain and both mental and physical fatigue.

After being diagnosed with COVID last June, San Emeterio determined that they were experiencing long COVID, which has no real test, after realizing that their symptoms – chronic cognitive impairment called “brain fog,” exhaustion, pain, and irregular heartbeat or palpitations—overlapped with ME/CFS.

Now, in addition to their pre-existing ME/CFS symptoms, San Emeterio says that long COVID has added more intense energy crashes, nausea, daily headaches, and gastrointestinal discomfort. Back when they first tested positive for COVID, they took the common five-day course of Paxlovid – an antiviral drug that is supposed to keep COVID sufferers from progressing to severe illness, hospitalization, and death. It may well have done that for them, but the short course didn’t seem to do anything to prevent San Emeterio from developing long COVID.

Dr Steven Deeks (not connected to the study) acknowledges that exactly what drives long COVID remains unclear. “The top theory is that COVID virus persists indefinitely” in people with long COVID, he says, “replicating in tissues and causing local damage—either directly or, more likely, because it’s causing immune inflammation, which causes the tissue damage.” This is believed, he says, because pieces of COVID have been found in the bodies of people suffering from long COVID, especially those who were previously immunocompromised—and also, to a lesser extent, because some people with long COVID who’ve gone on an antiviral end up feeling better after.

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