COVID-19 rebound from Paxlovid likely due to insufficient exposure to drug - study

A clinical trial presented the drug's capabilities to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID by 89%.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment pill Paxlovid is seen in a box, at Misericordia hospital in Grosseto, Italy, February 8, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/JENNIFER LORENZINI/FILE PHOTO)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment pill Paxlovid is seen in a box, at Misericordia hospital in Grosseto, Italy, February 8, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JENNIFER LORENZINI/FILE PHOTO)

Those who have taken the drug Paxlovid as a treatment for COVID-19 may experience a "COVID-19 rebound," as described by the CDC. However, a study published last month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases stated that the rebound is a result of insufficient exposure to the drug.

The peer-reviewed study was carried out by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, where they described that COVID-19 symptoms may return to patients after the completion of the treatment - which urged the CDC to issue a response to the situation.

The CDC describes Paxlovid as "a prescription oral antiviral drug that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at risk of disease progression and severe illness." 

The organization reaffirmed that Paxlovid is "recommended for early-stage treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 among persons at high risk for progression to severe disease." 

A clinical trial presented the drug's capabilities to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID by 89%.

 ONE OF THE trends during the COVID pandemic has been a tendency of social media to drive obsessive hot-takes around each new crisis. (credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS) ONE OF THE trends during the COVID pandemic has been a tendency of social media to drive obsessive hot-takes around each new crisis. (credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)

Final determination

The researchers determined that the cause was not enough exposure to Paxlovid by evaluating one patient whose symptom relapse "was not caused by the development of resistance to the drug." The research team concluded that COVID-19 was still sensitive to Paxlovid and showed no relevant mutations to reduce the effectiveness of the drug.

“Our main concern was that the coronavirus might be developing resistance to Paxlovid, so to find that was not the case was a huge relief,” said Aaron F. Carlin, one of the study's authors and assistant professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

“Our main concern was that the coronavirus might be developing resistance to Paxlovid, so to find that was not the case was a huge relief.”

Aaron F. Carlin