Health Advice



Do your medications interact with the COVID-19 antiviral?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

More than 131 million U.S. adults take at least one prescription medication regularly -- the average person takes four! So it's not surprising that more than 1.3 million adverse drug reactions send Americans to the emergency room each year.

Such negative reactions to medications often happen when two or more drugs are taken, causing one medication to either have a weaker or a stronger effect, or the interaction triggers cardiac problems, bleeding, kidney dysfunction, low blood pressure, seizures -- you name it.

Now, a new contraindication has appeared. Paxlovid, the antiviral that helps keep COVID-19 from sending you to the hospital, turns out to interact with a wide spectrum of prescribed drugs, including antiplatelet medications, and anticoagulants and antiarrhythmic drugs used to reduce the risks of A-Fib, stroke and blood clots; lipid-lowering agents such as statins; and drugs to ease angina, high blood pressure, pulmonary high blood pressure and heart failure. (The full list of drug contraindications is available online at "Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers: Emergency Use Authorization for Paxlovid.")

Writing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers suggest that if you cannot suspend or reduce the dose of contraindicated meds while on Paxlovid, you shouldn't take the antiviral -- and sometimes even that will not make it safe for you to take it within the timeframe required. An alternative? An infusion of monoclonal antibodies.

So talk to your doctor about Paxlovid-medication interactions that may affect you. Also, get your COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters so you have a better shot at never needing Paxlovid!



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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