COVID-19 treatment


Updated June 23, 2022

All COVID-19 treatments and therapeutics are authorized by the FDA.

If you are at high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, talk to your healthcare provider to see if these treatments and therapeutics are right for you. There is no cost to the patient for any of these treatments or therapeutics, although the provider might collect insurance information.

Talk with your healthcare provider for a referral/prescription, or check elsewhere on this page for potential direct screening options at certain health care facilities, including through the Pima County Health Department's Test to Treat program.

Test to Treat

Starting June 23, 2022, the Pima County Health Department can potentially set you up with an immediate prescription for free COVID-19 antiviral pills through a new Test to Treat program.

If you have a recent positive test – the medication is effective if started within five days of the start of symptoms -- you can go to our East Clinic (6920 E. Broadway Blvd.) or call 520-724-7895 to determine eligibility for treatment. If you need a test, come on in and you can check eligibility on-site if you’re COVID-positive.

Hours for the clinic and phone line:
  • Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Click to find more information, including about eligibility, regarding this program.

Other Test to Treat sites are available locally at some pharmacies and federally-supported health care centers. Use this link and type in your zip code to find the one most convenient to you.

“This new program will help ensure that those who don’t have easy access to care, or can’t see their usual health care provider, can get the timely treatment they need after a COVID-19 infection,” said Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this to everybody with the help of FEMA, which previously has been a great partner with COVID-19 vaccination and testing in our community.”

A national call center is also available at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages -- 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Arizona time, 7 days a week. The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Arizona time or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

Patient information: Types of COVID-19 Treatments and Therapeutics

Long-Acting Antibodies (laAbs) for prevention

The Evusheld injection is the only non-vaccine with emergency use authorization from the FDA to prevent infection from COVID-19 before you’re exposed to the virus. It provides protection against COVID-19 for up to six months.
When to use them:
  • BEFORE being infected with COVID-19.
  • If you are high risk due to being immune-compromised or unable to get the vaccine due to severe adverse reactions.
Who are they recommended for:
  • People 12 or older
  • Weigh at least 40 kg (88 pounds)
  • Have not been exposed to an individual with COVID-19
  • Moderate- to severely-compromised immune system
  • History of severe adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine and/or component(s) of those vaccines

Oral Therapeutics (Pills)

Pills may help your body fight COVID-19 by stopping the virus that causes COVID-19.

When to use them:
  • TESTED POSITIVE for COVID-19.
  • WITHIN FIVE DAYS of the start of symptoms (the earlier after testing positive, the better).
Who are they recommended for:
  • People 12 or older
  • Weigh at least 40 kg (88 pounds)
  • Have a high risk of severe COVID-19 disease progression
  • Are not in the hospital but have mild to moderate symptoms for five days or less

Monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs)

Antibodies developed in a lab that block the virus from entering your cells and reduce the severity of disease and the risk of hospitalization.

When to use them:
  • TESTED POSITIVE for COVID-19.
  • WITHIN 10 DAYS of the start of symptoms (ideally within five days.
Who are they recommended for:
  • People 12 or older
  • Are at high risk of becoming seriously ill

COVID-19 mAB information for clinicians is available on the Health and Other Partners page.

Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATED MAY 27, 2022: What is "COVID-19 rebound" after Paxlovid treatment?

“COVID-19 rebound,” or a recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms or a new positive COVID-19 test (after having tested negative), has occurred in some people after initial recovery and treatment with Paxlovid. Rebound has been reported between 2-8 days after recovery, and a brief return of symptoms may be part of the natural COVID-19 illness process for some people. It may be something that occurs regardless of treatment or vaccination status. People treated with Paxlovid who experienced rebound have had mild illness, with no severe disease reported. There is no evidence that additional treatment is needed, with Paxlovid or other COVID-19 therapies in cases of rebound.

If you experience rebound, you should follow the CDC’s guidance on isolation to prevent spreading the virus to others. This includes isolating for 5 days after symptoms recur (or you get a new positive test result) and wearing a mask for 10 days after rebound. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions, or if your symptoms persist or worsen. You are encouraged to report rebound cases after Paxlovid treatment via Pfizer’s safety reporting tool online tool. 

Paxlovid is still recommended for early treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 among people at high risk of progressing to severe disease.

Keeping up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines helps reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, and helps prevent serious illness and death if you do become infected. Patients and healthcare providers can learn more from the CDC about COVID-19 rebound after Paxlovid treatment.

UPDATED JUNE 14, 2022: What is known about the oral pills to treat COVID-19?

In December 2021, the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations for Paxlovid and Lagevrio, (also called molnupiravir). Both are prescription-only antiviral pills for the treatment of COVID-19 in those at risk for progression to serious disease, including hospitalization and death. 
 
Paxlovid is for those aged 12 and older, and is taken in combination with another antiviral drug called ritonavir. Lagevrio is for ages 18 and older. These medications are taken for five days, and must be started within five days of the start of symptoms. Yale medical experts offer updated answers to a number of commonly asked questions about Paxlovid
 
The FDA provides fact sheets on Paxlovid for patients and for healthcare providers. Lagevrio fact sheets are also available for patients and healthcare providers
 
For more information about these treatments, or if you have tested positive or have COVID-19 symptoms, please talk to your healthcare provider. You can also visit the government’s Test-to-Treat Locator to look for locations where you can fill a prescription, or for locations where you can get tested, see a provider and get medication, all at one place.

UPDATED JAN. 28, 2022: How do patients in skilled nursing facilities get mAB for COVID-19?

If a skilled nursing or assisted living facility has nursing staff available and would like to administer mAb, they should contact their contracted pharmacy. If they do not have mAB available, or if the facility does not have nursing staff that can administer the medication, the facility may reach out to Amber Specialty Pharmacy at amberpharmacy.com or (480) 216-0028 for support. Please contact congregatecare@pima.gov for any additional questions.

UPDATED FEB. 15, 2022: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine after having received mABs?

People who received mAB therapy to treat a COVID-19 infection may get a COVID-19 vaccine at any time, with no need to delay vaccination following treatment. See more details from the CDC.

UPDATED JUNE 14, 2022: What mAB are used and what are the side effects?

Bebtelovimab is the mAB in current use, due to its continuing effectiveness against omicron and its subvariants. It has FDA Emergency Use Authorization to treat certain patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for progression to severe disease, including hospitalization or death. 
 
All of the potential side effects and risks of bebtelovimab are not known. Side effects may include allergic reactions, and the possibility of the medication interfering with the body’s ability to fight off future COVID-19 infections. Because the medication is given by vein, it could also cause soreness, bleeding or bruising of the skin at the infusion site. Find more bebtelovimab information, including fact sheets for patients and healthcare providers at the manufacturer’s website, or talk to your healthcare provider.

UPDATED JUNE 14, 2022: Are there any mABs for prevention of COVID-19?

Yes. Evusheld is a monoclonal antibody (mAB) granted FDA Emergency Use Authorization in December, 2021 for the prevention of COVID-19. It consists of two different mABs (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) given as two injections given into muscle. It cannot treat COVID-19, but can help to prevent it.
 
It is authorized for those 12 and older who are not infected with COVID-19 and who have not been in recent close contact with someone who has the virus, and who:
  • Are moderately to severely immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) from a condition or medications and who may not develop sufficient protection from COVID-19 vaccination.

    Or

  • Have a history of severe adverse reaction (such as a severe allergic reaction) to a COVID-19 vaccine or to ingredient(s) in the vaccine, so that the vaccine is not recommended.
Possible side effects of Evusheld include allergic reactions and serious cardiac adverse events. Because it is given as injections into muscle, skin bruising, bleeding, swelling and soreness at the injection sites may occur.
Evusheld is investigational, and all of the possible side effects are not known. 
 
People who previously received a COVID-19 vaccine should wait to get Evusheld for at least two weeks after vaccination.

Learn more about Evusheld from the Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents and Caregivers, and the manufacturer’s website. Evusheld is available within Pima County, although supplies could be limited. If you have questions about this product or how to access it, please talk to your healthcare provider.


Getting mAB treatment in Pima County

Because it is given as an IV, mAB treatment for COVID-19 is only available in certain clinical settings. This list may change.

Tucson Medical Center

Not participating

Amber Specialty Pharmacy

  • Providing home-infusion for high-risk patients. Patients interested in receiving monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 need to contact a licensed practitioner for a prescription. 
  • Your healthcare provider will determine a) if you are eligible to receive this treatment and b) which therapy is appropriate for you. This form should be printed, completed by your doctor, and faxed to Amber Specialty Pharmacy.
  • Contact: www.amberpharmacy.com or 888-370-1724.
  • No cost for treatment but administration costs may occur.

Arizona Liver Health

1601 N. Swan Rd, Tucson, AZ 85712
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Physician referral or self-referral: 520-445-4000

  • To qualify, you must have tested positive and be symptomatic, and you will need to provide a positive test result. You may use a result from a self-test kit. Take a picture of the positive result or bring the kit with you to the clinic.
  • The cost is billed to insurance if you have insurance. If you do not have insurance, you must self-pay.
  • A pediatric trial is in process for those under the age of 18 years at no cost.

Banner Health

3950 S. Country Club Rd., Tucson, AZ 85714
Customer Care Center: 833-252-5535

For updated information about COVID-19 treatment, including eligibility, at Banner, please visit Banner's website.

Carondelet St. Raphael’s Emergency Center

Not participating

MD Acute

310 N Wilmot Road #206, Tucson AZ 85711

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Monoclonal antibody treatment available. MD Acute recommends calling 520-372-8292 for eligibility screening and an appointment. Physicians: fax referrals to 520-372-8444.

Northwest Hospital  

Not participating

Oro Valley Hospital 

Not participating

St.  Joseph’s

Not participating

St.  Mary’s

Not participating

Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital

Not participating

Sells

Not participating

VA

The V.A. hospital will coordinate mAB infusions for eligible patients, as appropriate.  If you are a Veteran and receive your healthcare from the V.A. in Tucson, please contact your primary care office if you have tested positive for COVID-19. 

More information on mAB & COVID-19
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Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

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