Stanford researchers to test Paxlovid as a long COVID-19 treatment

Researchers from Stanford (Calif.) University are enrolling 200 participants in a phase 2 study to see if Paxlovid could be used to treat the millions of Americans experiencing long COVID-19, according to a Nov. 21 entry on

With a projected end date of November 2023, participants will either take Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) or a placebo (plus ritonavir) for 15 days — three times longer than the recommended use of Pfizer's antiviral, which was authorized for emergency use in late 2021. The primary goal is to test for reduction of severe symptoms of long COVID-19.  

HHS estimates that anywhere from 7.7 million to 23 million people in the U.S. have long COVID-19, a recent health issue that has more questions than answers. There are no approved treatments for those who have recovered from COVID-19 but report fatigue, brain fog, dyspnea, body aches, and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues. 

Other research has tested Paxlovid as a potential treatment for long COVID-19 symptoms, but that data has yet to go through peer review. 

A secondary endpoint will glean "the correlation of physical activity and biometric parameters" from Apple Watches and blood pressure monitors to analyze symptom severity, according to the entry. Participants with an iPhone 6S Plus or newer will be invited to be included in the substudy.


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