Painless New COVID Treatment Drug Experience: Recovered Patient



One of the first Manitobans to receive the COVID-19 antiviral pill that became available in the province last month has made a full recovery with no side effects.

Mary McIntosh, 72, lives in Victoria Beach and is one of 83 Manitobans who recently dispensed the drug Paxlovid to Pfizer Inc. to treat COVID-19.

She contacted Health Links when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 on January 30. McIntosh has autoimmune hepatitis (a chronic liver disease), which qualifies her to receive the new treatment.


PROVIDED

Mary McIntosh, 72, is one of 83 Manitobans who recently provided Pfizer Inc. with the drug Paxlovid to treat COVID-19.

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PROVIDED

Mary McIntosh, 72, is one of 83 Manitobans who recently provided Pfizer Inc. with the drug Paxlovid to treat COVID-19.

“I had to defend myself regarding treatment options,” said McIntosh, who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster.

“But after making the first contact with Shared Health, I found that things were moving very quickly.”

They had to: The window where COVID-19 treatments are most effective is only five to seven days after symptoms appear.

McIntosh was prescribed the combination drug Paxlovid by a doctor assigned to him by Shared Health, after a series of phone calls with various medical professionals. After getting the all-clear from her own doctor to make sure it wouldn’t affect her current medications, she immediately started the five-day prescription.

“Once they got the prescription at (Health Sciences Center), I was contacted by the pharmacist there, and was told there would be no cost to me. and that the prescription would be delivered to where I was isolated,” McIntosh mentioned.

“Once they got the prescription at (Health Sciences Center), I was contacted by the pharmacist there, and was told there would be no cost to me. and that the prescription would be delivered where I was isolated.”
—Mary McIntosh

She decided to wait out her self-isolation at a friend’s house in Winnipeg. She received bubble packs from February 2, with 30 pills in total: three each morning and three each afternoon, approximately 12 hours apart. By the end of her period of self-isolation, she had made a full recovery, she said.

The treatment is part of what the province calls a “test and treat” strategy, which means getting treatment quickly into the hands of people most likely to have a severe response to COVID-19.

According to the province, of the 83 people who first received the treatment, 46 live in the Winnipeg Health Region, 20 in Prairie Mountain, nine in Southern Health, five in Interlake-Eastern and three in Northern Health. (The figures are expected to be updated on Wednesday.)

There were 978 treatments available in Manitoba as of Tuesday.

(If you fall into one of the five eligible categories and test positive for COVID-19, the province recommends contacting Health Links to find out if you are eligible for treatment.)




<p>PROVIDED</p>
<p>Pfizer Inc. drug Paxlovid to treat COVID-19.</p>
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<figcaption>
<p>PROVIDED</p>
<p>Pfizer Inc. drug Paxlovid to treat COVID-19.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>“Monoclonal antibodies and antiviral treatments are available by referral at a number of locations across the province,” a provincial spokesperson said in a statement.			</p>
<p>“This process is similar to other illnesses, where patients should contact their healthcare providers or call Health Links-Info Santé when they feel sick. A healthcare professional will recommend the best treatment once they will be connected.”			</p>
<p>McIntosh said she had not received any records or follow-ups from Shared Health, but added that the doctor she worked with said they had treated “maybe a dozen” people so far and that It was obvious that this was a new process for everyone involved.  .			</p>
<p>“Prescribing healthcare professionals have been encouraged to follow up with their patients, but as with treatments for other illnesses, patients should contact their physicians if their condition worsens after treatment,” the provincial spokesperson said.			</p>
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“I trusted the science, I trusted the vaccine decisions. I trust Health Canada, which gave the approval.
—Mary McIntosh

According to a fact sheet received by McIntosh, potential side effects of the drug include altered taste, high blood pressure, diarrhea and muscle aches. She said she didn’t know any.

McIntosh was “a little excited” to be one of the first to try a new method to treat COVID-19.

“I trusted the science, I trusted the vaccine decisions. I trusted Health Canada, who gave their approval,” she said.

The same fact sheet states that Paxlovid should not be taken by people with severe COVID-19, may interact with other medications and herbal supplements, and recommends people use physical contraceptives or stay abstinent while taking it, as this may decrease the effectiveness of birth control.

McIntosh said she was inspired to speak about her experience because there was “a lot of negativity.” She hoped her safe recovery and relatively painless experience would eventually help others seek the treatment they needed.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the current state of our medical system,” she said. “My experience with COVID has been good – if you can say that getting a life-threatening virus is a good thing.”

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Malak Abas