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UVA Health doctor weighs in on side effects from Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill

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Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 10:19 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - There’s new information about the antiviral pill for COVID-19 you should be aware of.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for people to take with underlying conditions who have a risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

Now, the FDA is not advising people to take the drug if you have severe kidney or liver disease because it can cause serious side effects. Also, it’s warning people to not take it with certain common medications.

“Paxlovid is a protease inhibitor and these protease inhibitors are metabolized by enzymes in the liver called cytochromes, and it turns out, like a lot of the medicines that we routinely take, are also metabolized in the same way,” Dr. Bill Petri with UVA Health said. “So a lot of people my age are on Simvastatin, for example, that lowers cholesterol levels, and so that’s a drug-drug interaction there, as well.”

Despite the drug interaction, it’s always important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking any medication.

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