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StarMed has very limited supply of antiviral pill to treat COVID-19

The pill, manufactured by Merck and called “Molnupiravir,” was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19 patients’ chance of hospitalization and death by 30 percent.
After a scary incident last week at one of its COVID-19 testing sites, StarMed will open it in a new location.
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 2:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:37 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - StarMed has a very limited supply of the antiviral pill used to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

According to StarMed, it is the first pill offered to treat the virus and is most effective when it’s taken within five days of being diagnosed with COVID-19.

The pill, manufactured by Merck and called “Molnupiravir,” was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19 patients’ chance of hospitalization and death by 30 percent.

The company says the pill is only available for pick-up at the Tuckaseegee location and is only for high-risk patients

Patients will have to pass an eligibility screening on-site by one of StarMed’s providers before receiving the medication Treatment and screening are free of cost with or without insurance.

“The treatment is most effective if you begin as soon as you’re diagnosed with COVID-19,” StarMed said. “This is not a substitute for a COVID-19 vaccination, which is still your best defense against the virus.”

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (from StarMed):

Who should get this treatment? This pill is for high-risk adults who are over 60 or those who are younger but have other conditions that put them at high risk of bad outcomes from COVID-19, like comorbidities such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity.

What is the cost of the treatment or Virtual Visit? All COVID-19 related treatments are being provided to you cost-free with or without insurance.

How is the COVID-19 pill treatment different from other treatments?C urrently, COVID-19 treatments require infusions. A pill treatment is quicker, easier, and could ultimately reduce the number of hospitalizations and death.

How does the COVID-19 pill treatment work?It works like most antiviral drugs, by inhibiting the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to replicate. Doctors hope that they can treat COVID-19 much the same way they do the flu with pills like Tamiflu.

If the COVID-19 pill is available, I won’t need a vaccine, right? No, a COVID-19 vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from getting the virus and spreading it to others. The pill doesn’t replace a vaccine. The more people that get vaccinated, the faster we can eliminate the pandemic.

Should I take the COVID-19 pill treatment if I’m pregnant? Since pregnant women were not a part of the study to show the pills safety, it is not recommended since we do not know if the medication can cause any issues to your baby. For women from the ages of 12-51 a negative pregnancy test is needed to prescribe this medication.

What are possible side effects from this medication? The most common side effects reported are nausea and vomiting. No significant side effects were reported in the study.

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