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COVID-19 antiviral medicine

Antivirals are available for eligible people to treat COVID-19.

COVID-19 medicines help stop people from getting so sick that they need to go to the hospital.

COVID-19 medicines do not replace vaccination. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Most people can safely recover at home without medication or by using over-the-counter medicines to manage their symptoms.

Who is eligible for COVID-19 antiviral medicine

Only people most likely to need hospital care are eligible for the COVID-19 antiviral medicine. This includes people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and:

  • are 70 years of age or older
  • are 50 years of age or older, with one risk factor for severe disease
  • are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and 30 years of age or older, with one risk factor for severe disease
  • have a weakened immune system and are 18 years of age or older
  • have ever been admitted to hospital because of a COVID-19 infection and are 18 years of age or older.

Check if you're eligible for antivirals

For more information on risk factors, visit Updated eligibility for oral COVID-19 treatmentsExternal Link .

How to get COVID-19 medicine

These medicines are prescription only. A GP or a GP Respiratory Clinic can assess if you need these medicines and prescribe them for you or refer you to a hospital. If you are unable to get an appointment at a GP or GP Respiratory Clinic, contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency DepartmentExternal Link .

Plan ahead by checking your eligibility with your GP, so that you are prepared if you get COVID-19.

These medicines work best if you take them as soon as you get symptoms or within 5 days of getting sick. This is why it is important to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as you notice any symptoms. You should take the medicine even if your symptoms are mild.

It is not safe to share your medicine with others or take medicine that has been prescribed for someone else as it can have dangerous side effects if taken with other medicines or supplements.

Who should not have COVID-19 medicine

Some groups of people should not have COVID-19 oral antivirals. These groups include:

  • pregnant people
  • people who are breastfeeding
  • young children.

People who have severe kidney or liver disease should not have Paxlovid oral antiviral treatment.

People who are sexually active should use an effective form of contraception while taking COVID-19 antiviral medicine.

Check your eligibility with a GP or GP Respiratory Clinic.

For more information, visit Oral treatments for COVID-19External Link .


Reviewed 14 July 2023

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus Hotline

Call the National Coronavirus Helpline if you have any questions about COVID-19.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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