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Most people who become ill with COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. Some of the same things you do to treat other respiratory infections — getting plenty of rest, hydration, nutrition and taking pain medications to relieve fever and aches and pains — also help with COVID-19.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of antiviral therapies with priority to people at the highest risk for hospitalization or death.
Learn about COVID-19 therapies and medication
Here are common questions about COVID-19 therapies and medication, in addition to who is eligible to receive treatment.
Antiviral treatments are oral (pills) and IV medications that stop the coronavirus from replicating. Oral and IV antiviral medications are investigational medicine for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and meet certain criteria.
Names for oral antiviral drugs include remdesivir (Veklury), molnupiravir (Lagevrio) and nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid).
Patients who test positive for COVID-19, have mild to moderate symptoms and are not hospitalized or requiring new oxygen therapy or an increase in oxygen therapy due to COVID-19 might be eligible for this treatment option. Patients also must have risk factors for developing severe COVID-19 that results in hospitalization or death.
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic liver disease
Chronic lung disease (asthma, bronchiectasis, COPD, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension)
Dementia or other neurological condition
Diabetes (type 1 or 2)
Heart condition (heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure (hypertension)
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from an inflammatory or autoimmune disease or immunosuppressive medicine
Mental health condition (mood disorder, depression, schizophrenia)
Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
Smoking, current or former
Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
Substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid or cocaine use disorder)
Neurodevelopmental disorders (for example, cerebral palsy) or other conditions that confer medical complexity (for example, genetic or metabolic syndromes and severe congenital anomalies)
Medical-related technological dependence (for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy or positive pressure ventilation, not related to COVID-19)
Treatments and vaccines can help offer protection from COVID-19, but they are different. Antiviral medications can help a patient who is sick with COVID-19 fight off the infection. A COVID-19 vaccine offers protection from future viruses, but cannot treat a patient who is already sick.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of these drug therapies only during the COVID-19 pandemic. This authorization is different than FDA approval. These drugs are investigational and still being studied, so there is limited information known at this time about their safety and effectiveness.
If you have a COVID-19 infection and want to be screened for eligibility to receive a treatment, please click below and complete our online survey form. If you need assistance completing the online survey form, you can call our hotline Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (608) 720-3319.
Treatments are provided Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you would like to receive treatment outside these hours, please contact the Department of Health Services (DHS) at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/telehealth.htm by calling 833-273-6330. DHS provides services 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. but will not have complete access to your medical records.
Patients who submit a survey before 3:30 p.m. can expect a call back same day, if submitted after 3:30 p.m. patients can expect a call back the next business day. Priority will be given to individuals at the very highest risk of serious illness or death.