COVID-19 Outpatient Treatments
Nov. 21, 2022
Latest Treatment for Coronavirus
There are several therapies meant to prevent COVID-19 patients with high-risk medical conditions from becoming hospitalized, as follows:
Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral pill: Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral pills are being distributed by L.A. County to select clinics and pharmacies, including those operated by UCLA Health. Paxlovid can only be prescribed if the patient has a positive COVID-19 test on file and is within 5 days of symptom onset. Click to view the FDA fact sheet in English.
If a patient is traveling in the United States when they start experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should use the federal test-to-treat website to find a nearby location where they can obtain a COVID-19 diagnostic test and COVID-19 treatments.
Remdesivir: If we cannot offer Paxlovid due to potential drug interactions, a process is in place to offer high-risk patients who meet the below criteria a three-day course of remdesivir via IV through our outpatient treatment program. Three days of IV remdesivir has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by 87% and is similar in efficacy to Paxlovid. While Paxlovid is easier to administer, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists three days of remdesivir as an option for patients at risk of COVID-19 disease progression.
Monoclonal antibody therapies: As of Nov. 21, 2022, UCLA Health will no longer use bebtelovimab to treat COVID-19, as the currently circulating strains of the omicron variant are resistant to this monoclonal antibody therapy.
Merck’s molnupiravir antiviral pill: High-risk patients with COVID-19 who are ineligible for Paxlovid and don't meet the high-risk criteria for remdesivir may be given molnupiravir (Lagevrio) to prevent hospitalization.
Watch video: outpatient COVID-19 therapies
Cost information for COVID outpatient treatments: COVID-19 medications are currently being provided to patients at no cost. While we are billing insurers for the administration of remdesivir, there should be no cost share for patients.
Want more information? Please reach out to your primary care physician if you have questions about outpatient COVID-19 therapies. Please see the COVID-19 vaccine info hub for information about the available vaccines.
High-risk criteria for remdesivir:
Patients with the following high-risk conditions who are otherwise ineligible for Paxlovid due to drug interactions or a creatine clearance of <30 may be eligible to receive remdesivir through our outpatient treatment program.
- Patients who are within one year of receiving B-cell depleting therapies (e.g., rituximab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab, alemtuzumab)
- Patients receiving Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors (e.g. ibrutinib, acalabrutinib, zanubrutinib)
- Chimeric antigen receptor T cell recipients (CAR-T)
- Post-hematopoietic cell transplant recipients who have chronic graft versus host disease or who are taking immunosuppressive medications for another indication
- Patients with hematologic malignancies who are on active chemotherapy
- Any solid organ transplant recipient
- Patients with severe combined immunodeficiencies
- Patients with untreated HIV who have a CD4 T lymphocyte cell count <200 cells/mm3
- Patients in active cancer treatment for non-hematologic malignancies (e.g. myelosuppressive chemotherapy)
- Post-hematopoietic cell transplant recipients who received treatment within two years without GVHD / not taking immunosuppressive medications for another indication
- Patients actively being treated with high-dose corticosteroids of more than 20 mg daily for at least two weeks, or actively taking other drugs (within one month) that may suppress their immune response
- Patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension on phosphodiesterase inhibitors and on chronic oxygen
- Patients who are unvaccinated who have traditional high-risk co-morbid conditions such as obesity or heart, kidney or lung disease
Monoclonal antibody therapy for pre-exposure prophylaxis
As of Nov. 21, 2022, UCLA Health will no longer accept new referrals for AstraZeneca's Evusheld (tixagevimab/cilgavimab), the FDA authorized monoclonal antibody for pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19, as the currently circulating omicron subvariants are resistant to this therapy.
Patients who are currently scheduled to receive Evusheld will be able to receive their dose through Dec. 9, 2022. After this point, UCLA Health will no longer schedule appointments for Evusheld, as we expect that most of the circulating subvariants will be resistant.
Please contact your primary care physician if you have any questions.