Study shows Paxlovid can safely be used to reduce risk of severe COVID in people who are pregnant

Nov. 30, 2022
Johns Hopkins Medicine team finds antiviral therapy does not increase chance of serious side effects affecting pregnancy or offspring.

Findings from a Johns Hopkins Medicine research study published in JAMA Network Open provide strong evidence that people who are pregnant and have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) can safely take the antiviral drug Paxlovid to reduce the possibility of severe disease.

In their study, the researchers selected participants from 3,442 people who were pregnant, diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and seen at centers within the Johns Hopkins Health Systems between March 15, 2020, and Aug. 20, 2022.

From this population, 47 people who met the study criteria were prescribed Paxlovid and monitored for outcomes and any complications. The median age of this group was 34, 17% were Black, 11% were Hispanic and the median gestational age (stage of pregnancy) was 28 weeks. The majority of participants had received at least their initial COVID vaccinations and started Paxlovid therapy within one day of symptom onset.

Ninety-six percent (45 out of 47) of the participants completed the course of therapy, tolerating it well. Of these, 25 delivered babies following the treatment. Twelve of the deliveries were done by cesarean section, and of those, nine were scheduled and not related to treatment. Two participants were hospitalized for pre-existing conditions and not severe COVID.

Overall, the incidence of maternal and fetal complications from Paxlovid were within expected limits.

Johns Hopkins release