Oral anti COVID-19 drugs: Molnupiravir and Paxlovid

Oral medications are one of the two critical points to address the challenge of COVID-19, the other being vaccination. Two types of oral antiviral drugs have been prescribed to COVID-19 patients since the fifth wave of the pandemic raged in Hong Kong in early 2022, and the results proved remarkable. According to a study led by a Hong Kong university, analysis of local data on COVID-19 treatments finds that the two types of oral medication can significantly lower the risk of death among inpatients by about 80% and reduce the risk of hospital admission in outpatients by nearly 90%.

 Oral anti-COVID-19 drugs work best when taken within 5 days of the onset of symptoms. Here are our suggestions on how to use oral anti-COVID-19 drugs within the golden hour.

  • Please get in touch with our medical team as soon as possible should you experience symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, and tiredness) ;  
  • Provide your medical records to allow the doctor to assess your condition.

Doctors will prescribe oral antiviral drugs for eligible patients after diagnosis. Molnupiravir and Paxlovid are both possible options. They are oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

Timely administration of oral antiviral drugs can reduce your chances of hospitalization due to the severity of your illness and relieve the pressure on the hospital.

Pharmacological mechanism:

  • Paxlovide contains two ingredients: Nirmatrelvir and Ritonavir; it prevents the virus from multiplying by stopping protease from working. 
  • Monapiravir works by disturbing the virus’s genetic material so that wrong signals are sent during the multiplying process. When this happens, the virus can’t copy itself and dies.

Local and overseas clinical data show that Monapiravir and Paxlowerd can both help reduce the virus load of the COVID-19 virus, significantly mitigating patients’ risk of hospitalization and death.

Information on oral antiviral drugs*:

Dosing informationTaken by mouth twice daily for 5 days
Who can take it Adults & kids 12+ weighing 40+ kgAdults 18+
Who cannot take it Patients who are allergic to the ingredients, with renal impairment, hepatic impairment, and who are using certain other medicationsPatients who are allergic to the ingredients, pregnant, breastfeeding
InteractionsManyCurrently unknown 
Common side effectsChanges in taste, diarrhea, headache, vomitingDiarrhea, nausea, headache, dizziness
Other side effectsAllergic reactions, affecting liver functionAllergic reactions, affecting bone and cartilage development, harming unborn babies

Patients should complete the 5-day treatment course of oral anti-COVID-19 drugs to ensure efficacy and reduce the risk of drug resistance.

The doctor will assess the condition of patients whose kidney function is low and adjust the dose of Paxlovide accordingly. In addition, oral antiviral drugs may interact with other medicines taken, which can affect the efficacy or cause other side effects.


With detailed counseling and support from the medical team of HEAL Medical, you can put your mind at ease and safely complete the course of oral antiviral drugs to restore your health. Our professional medical team will check your drug records (including Chinese patent medicines and health products) and provide you with suggestions to avoid adverse reactions caused by drug interactions; they will also evaluate your physical condition to confirm whether you can take these oral COVID-19 antiviral medications for there are patients who are not eligible for them.

*Note: The examples are for reference only and are non-exhaustive. Please consult the healthcare professionals for more information.


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