Pfizer’s Paxlovid Fails in Long COVID Study

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A recent study conducted by Stanford University researchers has found that Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) COVID-19 antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, administered over 15 days, failed to alleviate symptoms of long COVID.

Long COVID refers to persistent symptoms that can linger for months after the initial coronavirus infection, with no proven treatments currently available for this condition.

Despite hopes based on anecdotal reports, the study involving 155 participants over 15 weeks did not demonstrate Paxlovid’s efficacy in reducing symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, body aches, or gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues.

Dr. Upinder Singh, a professor at Stanford Medicine, noted that while the 15-day course did not yield significant improvements, further investigation into Paxlovid’s potential for long COVID treatment could be worthwhile, particularly in longer treatment durations or among patients with shorter illness durations.

However, the study did affirm the safety of Paxlovid when used for an extended period, despite its lack of efficacy in symptom relief.

Pfizer, in response to the study’s findings, stated that the results would not affect its ongoing collaborative studies exploring Paxlovid as a prospective treatment for long COVID-19.

Notably, Paxlovid is currently the most commonly prescribed at-home treatment for COVID-19 in the United States, approved for adults at risk of severe complications from the virus.

While Pfizer’s original clinical trials demonstrated Paxlovid’s effectiveness in reducing hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, its efficacy in certain patient groups, including those at standard risk and vaccinated individuals, remains inconclusive.

The long COVID trial was funded by Pfizer and involved researchers from Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente North California, and Pfizer.

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