What is COVID-19 Oral Antivirals Treatment?

What is COVID-19 Oral Antivirals Treatment

COVID-19 Oral antivirals are medications that stop the replication of the COVID-19 virus in your body. The oral antivirals helps to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.

What COVID-19 oral antiviral medications are available?

Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are two of the antivirals currently approved for use in Singapore.

Paxlovid is a combination drug consisting of two drugs, one of which aids in reducing the metabolism of the drug.

Molnupiravir is a single drug.

Who is eligible for COVID-19 oral antiviral medication?

Oral antivirals are indicated for patients deemed to be at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 but have not developed signs or symptoms of severe COVID-19.

Patients must be at least 18 years old, must take the COVID-19 antiviral medication within 5 days of symptom onset and have 1 or more risk factors to develop severe COVID-19.

Currently, the following patients are eligible:

  • Patients aged 60 or above

  • Active cancer patients

  • Unvaccinated patients with Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25

  • Vaccinated patients with BMI of 30

  • Patients with chronic kidney disease

  • Patients with chronic obstructive lung disease

  • Patients with serious heart conditions

  • Patients with Diabetes

  • Patients ongoing immunosuppressive condition/ treatment

Who is not suitable for COVID-19 oral antiviral medication?

Patients who already have developed severe COVID-19 signs and symptoms will not be suitable for oral antivirals.

Paxlovid affects the metabolism of drugs and as such, has significant drug interactions, even with certain common cholesterol and blood pressure medication. Be sure to discuss with your doctor the current medication that you are on to determine if Paxlovid is suitable for you.

Molnupiravir may be used if Paxlovid is not suitable. However it would not be suitable for patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning for children in the near future.


Is consultation required? Can i opt for teleconsultation? 

Consultation is required to determine suitability of the antivirals before a course can be prescribed. Patients on the COVID-19 Home Recovery Programme will have access to oral antivirals during their teleconsultation.

If not on the home recovery programme, you would need to visit our PHPC clinics for the oral antivirals.

 For more information, visit Healthhub to learn more about Paxlovid and Molnupiravir


Dr Jiayi Wong

M.B.B.S (Singapore) Bachelor of Medicine | Bachelor of Surgery