- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he experienced a rebound of COVID-19 symptoms after taking Paxlovid, the antiviral drug from Pfizer.

Dr. Fauci, 81, revealed Tuesday that his symptoms reemerged while speaking to the Foreign Policy Global Health Forum.

Paxlovid is a treatment that showed promise in staving off hospitalization or death from COVID-19 in clinical trials, and it is one of the key weapons against disease alongside the vaccines. The pill treatment consists of two drugs — nirmatrelvir and ritonavir — that work in concert to stop the virus from replicating.

Yet some recipients of the treatment have seen a re-emergence of symptoms following treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said rebound tends to occur two to eight days after the initial recovery.

Dr. Fauci said he tested negative for the virus on successive days but then tested positive again.

Agency scientists say they think the phenomenon has something to do with the nature of the virus and not the treatment itself or vaccination status, according to a CDC advisory.

“Limited information currently available from case reports suggests that persons treated with Paxlovid who experience COVID-19 rebound have had mild illness; there are no reports of severe disease,” the advisory said. “There is currently no evidence that additional treatment is needed with Paxlovid or other [anti-virus] therapies in cases where COVID-19 rebound is suspected.”

A recent study from the University of California, San Diego, says the rebound might be due to a lack of exposure, meaning not enough of the drug is reaching infected cells to stop all viral replication.

“This may be due to the drug being metabolized more quickly in some individuals or that the drug needs to be delivered over a longer treatment duration,” a news release about the study said.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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