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POSSIBLE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR COVID-19

COVID-19 treatment options are available for people with mild to moderate symptoms, people in the hospital, and people who may not have symptoms but are at high risk for serious COVID-19 and have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

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Treatment options for patients with COVID-19 who are not in the hospital

*For more information about high risk status visit: Who is at High Risk for Serious COVID-19?

Antiviral treatments: An antiviral treatment may help your body fight COVID‑19 by stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) from multiplying in your body. This reduces the amount of the virus in your body, so you may not get as sick or need to go to the hospital.

To get an antiviral, you need a prescription and a positive COVID‑19 test. You also need to be at high risk of developing serious symptoms of COVID‑19.

There are two ways to receive an antiviral treatment: by mouth, as a pill (oral antivirals), or by an infusion in your vein (IV antivirals). You need to take oral antivirals within the first 5 days after your COVID-19 symptoms appear. You need to receive IV antivirals within the first 7 days after your symptoms appear.

Monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments: The mAb treatment helps boost your body’s ability to fight COVID-19. The mAb treatment can block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering cells in your body, limiting the amount of the virus within your body. These antibodies could help your immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. A mAb treatment may keep your symptoms from becoming bad enough that you need to go to the hospital. The treatment is for people who are at a high risk for developing serious symptoms of COVID‑19 and needs to be given within the first 7 days of when symptoms appear. The mAb treatment is given as either an IV infusion or as a series of shots.

Long-acting antibody (LAAB) treatment: This treatment can help protect some people from COVID-19 before they are exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. You may be eligible for this LAAB treatment if:

  • You are at high risk for serious COVID‑19.
  • You have not tested positive for COVID‑19.
  • You have not been recently exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID‑19.
  • Vaccination is recommended by the CDC.

This LAAB treatment is called Evusheld. It is a type of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP treatment may prevent the spread of disease (like COVID‑19) in people who have not been exposed to what causes the disease (like the SARS-CoV-2 virus). If you are exposed to the virus after you receive PrEP treatment, the treatment can help you fight a COVID-19 infection.

Evusheld is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine. Evusheld is intended to help people who may not have a strong immune response if they are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Possible symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Learn more about symptoms, testing for COVID-19, quarantine and isolation, and caring for someone who is sick through the CDC website for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

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sick woman taking her temperature with a digital thermometer

TREATMENTS AUTHORIZED BY THE FDA FOR EMERGENCY USE

NOT IN THE HOSPITAL

Symptoms for 5 days or less

  • Paxlovid: This medication is taken by mouth (as a pill) to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. It must be given within 5 days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear. Paxlovid is for adults and children who are 12 years of age and older, weighing at least 88 pounds. Paxlovid may interfere with hormonal contraceptives (such as pills, an implant, an intrauterine device [IUD], injections, vaginal rings, and skin patches), so other contraceptive methods are advised. Paxlovid is not recommended for people with serious kidney or liver disease.
  • Lagevrio (molnupiravir): This medication is taken by mouth (as a pill) to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. It must be given within 5 days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear. Lagevrio is for adults 18 years and older. Lagevrio is not recommended during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Also, additional contraceptive methods are required for a short while after the last dose.

Symptoms for 7 days or less

  • Bebtelovimab: This is a mAb for adults and children 12 years or older (weighing at least 88 pounds) who have tested positive for COVID-19, have mild to moderate symptoms, are not in the hospital, and are at high risk for serious COVID-19. Bebtelovimab must be given within 7 days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear. This treatment is for when other COVID-19 treatment options approved or authorized by the FDA are unavailable or not clinically appropriate.
  • Veklury (remdesivir): This antiviral treatment is for people staying in the hospital and people who are not in the hospital. People who are not in the hospital must go to an IV infusion center to receive this treatment. Veklury must be given within 7 days after first symptoms of COVID-19 appear.

IN THE HOSPITAL

  • COVID-19 convalescent plasma: Convalescent plasma is blood plasma taken from people who have recovered from COVID-19. It contains antibodies that treat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19; it also contains other components that may improve a person’s immune response to the virus. Convalescent plasma is for people staying in the hospital who have a weakened immune system or are receiving treatment that may weaken their immune system.
  • Baricitinib (Olumiant®): This treatment is for children who are 2 to 18 years old requiring supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Olumiant (baricitinib) is now FDA approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
  • Tolcilizumab (Actemra®): This is a mAb treatment for adults and children (2 years of age and older) who are receiving corticosteroids and who require supplemental oxygen, a ventilator, or ECMO. Actemra may decrease the risk of death for people in the hospital with COVID-19.
  • Veklury (remdesivir): This antiviral treatment is for people staying in the hospital and people who are not in the hospital. Veklury must be given within 7 days after first symptoms of COVID-19 appear.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized these treatments for emergency use. Learn more about ActemrabebtelovimabCOVID-19 convalescent plasmaLagevrioOlumiantPaxlovid, and Veklury.

Talk to your healthcare professional about treatment options. Your healthcare professional will know the best option for you based on your symptoms and your health history. They will help you get these treatments if appropriate. Your healthcare professional will also have information on what location(s) you may need to visit if the treatment must be given by a healthcare professional.

If you do not have a healthcare professional, call to find out who to talk with about your symptoms and treatment.

If your healthcare professional is unfamiliar with these treatment options, direct them to the Therapeutics Locator and the ASPR COVID-19 Therapeutics website.

Find oral antivirals

For healthcare professionals