Department of Health

Medications for patients with COVID-19

Advice for healthcare workers on medications for patients with COVID-19.

Early therapies

There are a range of medications provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and available in Victoria through the National Medical Stockpile (NMS). These medications are for the treatment of patients in the early phase of infection with COVID-19 who are at risk of progression to severe disease.

The medications currently available for mild disease are:

  • nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (Paxlovid™)
  • remdesivir (Veklury™)
  • molnupiravir (Lagevrio™)
  • inhaled corticosteroids: budesonide (Pulmicort™) or ciclesonide (Alvesco™)
  • sotrovimab (Xevudy™)
  • casirivimab plus imdevimab (Ronapreve™)
  • tixagevimab and cilgavimab (Evusheld™) in exceptional circumstances.

Resources to support prescribing include:

COVID-19 medications for at risk people who do not require oxygen

Paxlovid™ prescribing guideExternal Link

Algorithm for the Management of Children with Symptomatic COVID-19External Link

PBS eligibility criteria – Paxlovid™External Link

PBS eligibility criteria – Lagevrio™External Link

Locating a community pharmacy stocking antivirals

Pharmacies holding oral antiviral stock across the state can be found using these resources:

Clinicians regularly prescribing PBS oral antivirals are encouraged to have discussions with their local pharmacies to let them know they will be prescribing to facilitate stock being available same day. All pharmacies can order stock as required with a next business day turnaround on average.

Develop a COVID-19 treatment plan for your patients

Actively engaging with at-risk patients to develop a COVID-19 treatment plan enables them to quickly access the best available treatment should they become infected.

Clinicians should consider contacting at-risk patients that may be eligible for early therapies for a proactive consultation to develop a COVID treatment plan, or do this during an elective/non-urgent consultation.

Examples of COVID treatment plan templates are available to download:

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (Evusheld™)

Evusheld is not currently recommended for routine pre exposure prophylaxis. Evusheld does not have activity against approximately 95% of current variants in Victoria.

Clinicians are advised to consult the Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19External Link , by National Clinical Evidence Taskforce, for the latest evidence based information and recommendations.

Request to access forms

Use the forms to request access for the following medications:

  • Medication for mild COVID-19
  • Medication for moderate to severe COVID-1

Product information

Consumer medicine information

Further information

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence TaskforceExternal Link
Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19External Link

What are the recommendations for influenza vaccination?

With COVID-19 spreading across Australia, this year it is more important than ever to ensure that patients receive the seasonal influenza vaccination. Influenza vaccination should be given as soon as possible. The regular influenza season may coincide with the peak of the current COVID-19 pandemic, potentially placing additional burden on the Australian health system.

Influenza vaccine distribution to immunisation providers has commenced. Adjuvanted influenza vaccines are available for people aged 65 years and over.

Claims that influenza vaccination may increase the risk of COVID-19 infection have been circulating on social media. There is no evidence to support these claims.

Can Tamiflu still be given to patients with mild flu-like symptoms?

The antiviral medication Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is not effective against COVID-19. Tamiflu is used to treat influenza. In otherwise healthy adults who have a low risk of complications, treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor (such as Tamiflu) reduces duration of influenza symptoms by less than one day on average, when treatment is started within 48 hours of symptom onset. Such benefit must be balanced against the potential adverse effects of antiviral treatment, including nausea, vomiting, headaches and neuropsychiatric events.

It is recommended that Tamiflu be reserved for use in patients:

  • who need to be admitted to hospital for management of influenza
  • with moderate-severity or high-severity community-acquired pneumonia, during the influenza season
  • who are at higher risk of poor outcomes from influenza (for example, pregnant women).

Information about COVID-19 vaccines

Find information on COVID-19 vaccines, including:

  • information about the COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia
  • training for COVID-19 vaccine providers
  • administering the vaccines and managing side effects
  • supporting COVID-19 vaccine recipients.

Reviewed 27 February 2024


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