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Do you qualify for antiviral medication?

June 8, 2022 | Covid-19, Treatments

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and your symptoms started in the past 5 days and you are on Fingolimod or Ocrelizumab for your MS, you may be eligible for antiviral medication to treat COVID-19. Your GP can prescribe this for you.

The antiviral drug available in the community to treat COVID-19 is called Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir with ritonavir). Paxlovid is an oral antiviral medicine used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19. It stops the virus multiplying in your body. It contains two different medications (two different tablets), nirmatrelvir to block virus replication, and ritonavir to slow the breakdown of nirmatrelvir. Evidence suggests that it is effective against COVID-19, including Omicron.

Treatment with Paxlovid is recommended to be started within 5 days of first symptoms.

Due to available supply, treatment will be targeted to those people with the highest health need and those most likely to benefit from treatment. Your doctor will need to confirm that you meet certain criteria before he can prescribe Paxlovid for you.


Paxlovid is made up of two different tablets and you will need to take 3 tablets together, two nirmatrelvir and one ritonavir. The recommended dose is 300 mg nirmatrelvir (two 150 mg tablets) with 100 mg ritonavir (one 100 mg tablet) taken together orally every 12 hours for 5 days.

Up-to-date antiviral medications

Keep up to date with available antiviral medications here: https://pharmac.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid19/access-criteria-for-covid-19-medicines/covid-antivirals