COVID-19, Virtuwell and antiviral medications: What you need to know

Reviewed by Theresa H. DNP, FNP-BC

Reviewed by Theresa H.

DNP, FNP-BC

As new COVID-19 treatments continue to be developed, the Federal Drug Administration has authorized two oral antiviral medications that reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization. Currently, supply of these antivirals is limited and only people who are considered to be at high risk of developing severe illness and complications due to a COVID-19 infection are approved to take these medications.

Virtuwell and COVID-19 antiviral medication FAQs

What are COVID-19 antivirals?

Currently, the FDA has authorized use of two oral antiviral medications – Paxlovid and molnupiravir – to treat COVID-19 in individuals who are at high risk for severe illness. These medications work by blocking the enzyme the virus needs to replicate and spread. When taken within five days of when symptoms began, these antiviral medications can help reduce the duration and severity of illness and prevent hospitalization and death in people who are at high risk of becoming very ill.

Who is eligible for COVID-19 antivirals?

Today, only individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms that started within the last five days and are at high risk for developing severe illness may be able to get a prescription for an oral antiviral medication. For more information about what medical conditions may qualify as high risk, visit the CDC’s website.

I have a confirmed case of COVID-19, can I get a prescription for an antiviral medication from Virtuwell?

Virtuwell is not currently prescribing antiviral medications for the treatment of COVID-19. If you are considered high risk and looking for antivirals, please contact your primary care provider, state health department or a Test to Treat program.

If you are a HealthPartners member or clinic patient, you can also contact CareLine at 612-339-3663 or 800-551-0859 to discuss treatment options.

How does Virtuwell currently treat COVID-19?

Virtuwell treats people with mild COVID symptoms. Most healthy, low-risk people do not need treatment with antiviral medications for COVID-19. Based on your health needs, we’ll recommend over-the-counter medications and at-home treatments to help reduce and manage your symptoms. We also offer free follow-up care and, if your symptoms change or get worse, we’ll be here to help with any next steps.

Keep in mind that, even if you previously had COVID, getting vaccinated is still the best and most effective way to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19. Vaccines are widely available at healthcare clinics and pharmacies. If you need help finding a vaccine, visit vaccines.gov or your state’s health department.