Older adults at risk of drug interactions with Paxlovid
A new study suggests that some older adults may be taking medication that interacts with Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) COVID-19 antiviral. The drug has been approved for early outpatient treatment of COVID-19 to prevent severe disease.
Using national databases in Denmark, researchers estimated the share of older adults who were at risk of significant drug interactions if they were to use Paxlovid. According to the article in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, they found that blood thinners that should not be taken with the antiviral were being used by 20% of people over the age of 65 years and by 30% of people over the age of 80 years.
Incompatible cholesterol-lowering statins were being used by up to 18% of people older than 65 years, and more than 20% of the study population were using drugs such as analgesics or heart medications that might require dose adjustments.
Prior to prescribing the antiviral, “the patient’s full medical history including herbals, [OTCs,] and recreational drugs must be known and co-treatment carefully managed by the treating physician, or by a specialist, to avoid detrimental effects,” the researchers wrote.