Oral antiviral drug Paxlovid has become available for COVID patients 65 years old and above. A doctor said he had dysgeusia, or altercation of taste, as a side effect after taking the medication.
Many frontline medical personnel are coming down with COVID-19 as the domestic epidemic situation worsens. A well-known Kaohsiung doctor recently tested positive, and was given oral antiviral medication Paxlovid as he was over the age of 65. He has been using the medication for two days. He hasn't experienced diarrhea or vomiting, which are reported side effects, but he has developed a lasting bitter taste in his mouth. He says many patients have reported this side effect after using the medication. Luckily, they can use sweet food to counteract it.
COVID-19 Patient: “We call this non-specific, but half of the people who take this medication really do report that their mouths feel abnormal. My thought is that we still have to take it, because it can protect (against severe symptoms). After all, 19 out of every 100 people haven't even gotten one vaccine dose.”
Studies show that Paxlovid is most effective when taken for the full five-day course. The course must be finished even if symptoms are relieved. Reported side effects include changes to the sense of taste, diarrhea, and vomiting. Doctors say if the side effects are too intense and people feel unwell, they can inform their doctor and their doctor will make an assessment. No one should stop taking it of their own volition.
Tseng Che-huang, Dep. Superintendent, Gee-Tien Ear Nose & Throat Hospital: “There's a problem with Paxlovid, which is that because it is metabolized in the liver, it will affect many commonly taken medications such as anticoagulants that are metabolized in the liver and kidneys, which will in turn affect the drugs' blood concentration and cause other side effects and risks.”
Early treatment and usage of medication can reduce the risk of developing moderate and severe cases. However, the use of Paxlovid with other drugs may result in potentially significant drug interactions, so those with chronic diseases or long-term medication users should report their medical history and drug usage to their doctor to ensure that the antiviral is suitable for them.