Frequently Asked Questions

Is PAXLOVID right for me?
PAXLOVID is a medicine that has been given provisional approval in Australia for use in adult patients experiencing mild-to-moderate COVID-19 with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalisation or death.

This approval has been granted on the basis of short-terms efficacy and safety data. Evidence of efficacy and safety from ongoing trials continues to be gathered and assessed.
How soon after receiving a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 should I initiate PAXLOVID treatment?
PAXLOVID should be taken as soon as possible after a diagnosis of COVID-19 has been made and within 5 days of symptoms onset.
What should I discuss with my doctor before taking PAXLOVID?
Talk to your doctor if you have any other medical conditions or if you have reduced kidney or liver function. You must not take PAXLOVID with certain medicines because these medicines may cause serious or life-threatening side effects or affect how PAXLOVID works.

Please inform your doctor of all medicines that you take, including those received from other doctors and non-prescription medications.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.

For more information, please refer to the PAXLOVID Consumer Medicine Information.
How much PAXLOVID should I take?
Your doctor will decide how much PAXLOVID you will need to take. Your doctor will adjust your dose if you have kidney problems.

The standard dose is two 150 mg tablets of nirmatrelvir (pink tablets) together with one 100 mg tablet of ritonavir (white tablet). Taken twice daily, morning and evening (12 hours apart) for five consecutive days.

If you have reduced kidney function, your doctor may tell you to only take one 150 mg tablet of nirmatrelvir with one 100 mg tablet of ritonavir. Taken twice daily, morng and evening (12 hours apart) for consecutive days.

Nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets can be taken with or without food.

Nirmatrelvir must be taken together with ritonavir.

The tablets should be swallowed whole and not chewed, broken, or crushed.
When should I take PAXLOVID?
Take PAXLOVID tablets every 12 hours at about the same time each morning and evening. It will help you remember when to take it.
What if I forget to take a dose of PAXLOVID?
If you miss a dose of PAXLOVID within 8 hours of the time it is usually taken, take it as soon as you remember.

If you miss a dose by more thatn 8 hours, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses of PAXLOVID at the same time.
What if i take too much PAXLOVID?

If you think that you have taken too much PAXLOVID, you may need urgent medical attention.

You should immediately:

  • phone the Poisons Information Centre (by calling 13 11 26), or
  • contact your doctor, or
  • go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.

You should do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

What are the possible side effects of taking PAXLOVID?

All medicines can have side effects. If you do experience any side effects, most of them are minor and temporary. However, some side effects may need medical attention.

See the information below and, if you need to, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any further questions about side effects.

Side effects What to do
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Aching muscle, muscle tenderness or weakness not due to exercise
  • Changes in taste or a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Generally feeling unwell
Speak to your doctor if you have any of these side effects and they worry you.
  • Severe allergic reaction, including raw, painful and/or peeling of the skin, blisters, sore throat or mouth, or fever.
  • Signs and/or symptoms of an allergic reaction, including rash, itch, development of hives, swelling of the face(or of the tongue, lips, eyes, throat), feeling breathless, light-headed or dizzy, and feeling unwell.
Call your doctor straight away, or go straight to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital if you notice any of these serious side effects.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that may be making you feel unwell.

Other side effects not listed here may occur in some people.

How do I report side effects?
After you have received medical advice for any side effects you experience, you can report side effects to the Therapeutic Goods Administration online at By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

You can also contact Pfizer Drug Safety via email [email protected] to report a suspected side effect or adverse reaction. For concerns about the quality of a Pfizer product, please call 1800 675 229 (9AM-5PM AEST, Monday – Friday).

Always make sure you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you decide to stop taking any of your medicines.

How to verify your tablets are authentic

PAXLOVID must be prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider and supplied by a Government approved pharmacy or medical

Authentic PAXLOVID, from Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd., will include the Pfizer name on the label and will be packaged in 5 aluminum push-through blister cards. Individual doses are not for sale. PAXLOVID will be packaged in a rectangular carton. The carton has a colourless, glossy coating that contains a repeated pattern of the Pfizer name and logo all over the tablet, and these repeating features are seen in a contrasting matte finish.

PAXLOVID consists of tablets for a 5-day oral treatment regimen, with morning and evening doses.

To verify that the tablets are legitimate, look for the following specific text on each side of the tablet

Tablet Text
nirmatrelvir Front: 3CL | Back: PFE
ritonavir Front: image NK | Back: No text
Pfizer is committed to patient safety and ensuring that people have accurate information about PAXLOVID, including how it is accessed and administered. We are actively monitoring for offers of illegitimate PAXLOVID to protect patients from products that might be dangerous and lead to serious or life-threatening harm.

If you suspect the product you have received may be counterfeit, contact us at 1800 675 229 or visit