Health Alert:   COVID-19 Community Level:   HIGH   More information

COVID-19 treatment

Test to treat

For non-English speakers

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. 

For people with disabilities

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.

The COVID Treatment Hotline will be closed Dec. 15 for department training activity.

If you are having difficulty breathing or need immediate medical attention, call 911.

Updated Dec. 1, 2022

Free COVID-19 treatment is available from the Health Department to anyone who has tested positive and is at high risk of becoming seriously ill. If you have tested positive and believe you need treatment, call us at 520-724-7895 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

There is no cost to the patient for any of these treatments or therapeutics, although the provider might collect insurance information.

Patient information: Types of COVID-19 Treatments and Therapeutics

Oral Therapeutics (Pills)

Pills may help your body fight COVID-19 by stopping the virus that causes COVID-19. Pills available are Paxlovid and Lagevrio (Molnupirvir).

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

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
Use this map to find updated information about Evusheld treatment in Pima County. After you click the link, you can select Evusheld in the drop-down menu under "order label," also typing in AZ for State Code and Pima for County. 

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

Frequently Asked Questions

DEC. 1, 2022: Why are monoclonal antibodies (mAB) no longer available for COVID-19 treatment?

On Nov. 30, 2022, the FDA announced that bebtelovimab, the remaining mAB product for the treatment of COVID-19, was no longer authorized for use in the U.S. This decision was due to bebtelovimab not being effective against the increasing prevalence of omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. Oral medication remains a treatment option for COVID-positive individuals.

UPDATED OCT. 11, 2022: What oral medications currently treat COVID-19?

There are two prescription oral antiviral COVID-19 treatments available for people who are at risk for serious COVID-19, and have tested positive within the past 5 days. Both were granted FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Paxlovid is for people 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds, while Lagevrio is for people 18 and older. A healthcare provider can determine which medication is better for you based on your situation and any health conditions you might have.
 
Learn more about the oral antivirals from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Some people finishing treatment with either Paxlovid or Lagevrio have experienced a viral rebound (sometimes called “rebound COVID-19”) in which their symptoms return, and they again test positive for COVID-19. This return of symptoms and test positivity has not been associated with a progression to severe COVID-19. Additional courses of Paxlovid or Lagevrio are not authorized by the FDA, and there is not enough data to recommend this practice. Viral rebound and the recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms have been seen in the absence of treatment, and researchers believe this may be a natural behavior of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
 
If you experience rebound COVID-19, you should restart isolation, to prevent transmitting the virus to others. You should talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation. The CDC offers more information on isolation and an online isolation calculator.

UPDATED DEC. 1, 2022: How do patients in skilled nursing facilities get mAB to prevent COVID-19?

Skilled nursing or assisted living facilities with nursing staff available to administer mAb, should contact their contracted pharmacy. Facilities unable to obtain mAB, or those lacking nursing staff to administer it, may reach out to Amber Specialty Pharmacy at amberpharmacy.com or (480) 216-0028 for support. They can administer pre-exposure prophylaxis (Evusheld) for residents who qualify. Please contact congregatecare@pima.gov for any additional questions.

UPDATED OCT. 11, 2022: Are there any mABs for prevention of COVID-19?

There is one currently. Evusheld is a monoclonal antibody (mAB) used under FDA Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention). It consists of two different mABs, given as two separate injections into muscle, and should be repeated every six months.
 
It may be used in those 12 and older who don’t currently have COVID-19 and haven’t had a recent exposure to someone infected with the virus, AND:
  • Are moderately to severely immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) from a medical condition or medications and may not develop sufficient protection from COVID-19 vaccination, OR
  • For whom vaccination with any available COVID-19 vaccine, according to the approved or authorized schedule, is not recommended due to a history of severe adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine(s) and/or COVID-19 vaccine ingredient. 
Evusheld is not a COVID-19 treatment, or a post-exposure prophylaxis for people exposed to someone with the virus. It isn’t a substitute for vaccination in people for whom vaccination is recommended. People for whom vaccination is recommended, and who may benefit from vaccination, should receive COVID-19 vaccination. Those who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine or booster should wait at least two weeks before getting Evusheld.
 
If you have questions about this product, please talk to your healthcare provider. The Evusheld website and the Evusheld FDA Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents and Caregivers offer additional information.


More information on mAB & COVID-19
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3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

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