What are the treatment options for Covid-19?
Treatment consists primarily of symptom relief and management of complications. For individuals with confirmed Covid-19 disease who are at high risk for a severe course, antiviral therapy and/or antibody therapy may be appropriate. Such therapies are now available for outpatients who belong to specific risk groups (see below).
The most important measure to avoid severe courses of the disease remains vaccination.
Early therapy and preexposure prophylaxis for covid-19 patients
Persons with severely weakened immune systems have a significantly increased risk of contracting severe COVID-19. Some of these individuals do not build up sufficient immune protection despite repeated vaccination with an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.
In Switzerland, several substances to prevent severe courses of Covid-19 are now available for this group of people:
Antibody therapy: tixagevimab/cilgavimab (Evusheld) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) and also (new) as treatment option for COVID-19.
Antiviral therapy: nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (paxlovid) as early therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Paxlovid is the only directly acting oral antiviral approved in Switzerland. If paxlovid is contraindicated, remdesivir or alternatively the monoclonal antibody therapies Evusheld or Sotrovimab can be used.
Who benefits from early therapy or pre-exposure prophylaxis?
Early therapy and pre-exposure prophylaxis are primarily intended for high-risk patients with a very low or absent immune response after vaccination. After careful evaluation, other patients at increased risk for severe disease progression (see SSI criteria list EN (PDF)) may also benefit from these therapies.
Where is early treatment or pre-exposure prophylaxis offered?
For external referrals, early therapy with paxlovid, as well as pre-exposure prophylaxis with tixagevimab/cilgavimab (Evusheld) is available in the outpatient clinic of internal medicine at the University Hospital Basel.
Paxlovid can also be prescribed by physicians and dispensed on prescription in pharmacies since the end of July 2022. For emergency dispensing on weekends, the emergency pharmacy in Petersgraben is available. The federal government will cover the cost of outpatient applications for the treatment of confirmed coronavirus disease in compliance with SSI criteria as long as these drugs are not reimbursed by mandatory health insurance. Contraindications to therapy must be strictly observed. Detailed information is compiled under:
Koordination der Versorgung mit wichtigen Covid-19-Arzneimitteln (admin.ch)