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COVID-19: Dr. Sameer Parikh on Drug Interactions Between Paxlovid and CLL/SLL Drugs

This content was current as of the date it was released. In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge.

Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir co-packaged with ritonavir) was recently issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in those at high risk to progress to more severe disease, such as those with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL).

As we discussed here in a prior post, Paxlovid is a gamechanger that reduces hospitalizations by almost 90%. But there are two significant concerns.

First, it is in short supply at the time of posting this interview.

The second issue is addressed in my short interview with Dr. Sameer Parikh from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Paxlovid is associated with potentially serious drug-to-drug interactions, including several commonly used CLL medications like ibrutinib.

That doesn’t mean it’s off the table as a therapeutic option for those with CLL/SLL if they test positive for COVID-19. However, it does mean that CLL/SLL medications may need to be held or their dose may need to be reduced, which should only be done in consultation with your medical team.

There is much to learn from this short but important video interview with Dr. Parikh.

Stay strong. We are all in this together.

Brian Koffman, MDCM (retired) MS Ed (he, him, his)
Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer
CLL Society

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When appropriate, the CLL Society will be posting updates and background information on the present Coronavirus pandemic focusing on reliable primary sources of information and avoiding most of the news that is not directly from reliable medical experts or government and world health agencies.