A trial emulation study of veterans with COVID-19 found that the use of the antiviral nirmatrelvir–ritonavir (Paxlovid) was not effective for reducing the risk for many post-COVID-19 conditions, including cardiac, pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal, neurologic, mental health, musculoskeletal, or endocrine symptoms. 

Nirmatrelvir–ritonavir was associated only with a reduced risk for combined thromboembolic events. The study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.   

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that 1 in 5 COVID-19 survivors aged 18 to 64 years and 1 in 4 survivors aged 65 years or older experienced an incident condition that was potentially attributable to previous COVID-19 infection. 

Nirmatrelvir–ritonavir is often recommended to non-hospitalized persons with symptomatic COVID-19 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19. However, its ability to reduce risk for post-COVID-19 conditions is unknown.  

Researchers from the Veterans Administration Puget Sound Healthcare System evaluated 9,593 nonhospitalized patients treated with nirmatrelvir-ritonavir and their matched untreated cohorts for 31 post-COVID-19 conditions to measure the effectiveness of outpatient treatment of COVID-19 with nirmatrelvir–ritonavir in preventing post-COVID-19 conditions. 

No differences were observed between the two groups except for a lower combined risk for venous thromboembolism and pulmonary embolism. According to the authors, their results suggest that considerations about post-COVID-19 conditions may not be an important factor in COVID-19 treatment decisions.  

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