FDA authorizes second COVID-19 antiviral pill

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Food and Drug Administration authorized a second at-home antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 on Thursday. The clearance for the drug, called molnupiravir, came a day after the agency signed off on Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral, called Paxlovid. Both drugs reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in people diagnosed with COVID-19 and at risk of having a severe case of the disease.

Molnupiravir, made by pharmaceutical company Merck, is authorized for people 18 years of age and older who are at a high risk of getting seriously ill if they contract the coronavirus. It’s a higher age cutoff than Paxlovid, which is cleared for people 12 and up, because molnupiravir might affect bone and cartilage growth, the FDA said in a statement.

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Author: Nicole Wetsman