SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people are treating COVID-19 with a medication you can get at a pharmacy.

22News spoke to a physician at Baystate Medical Center about how this drug works.

The drug Paxlovid is not yet approved by the FDA, but it is authorized.

Paxlovid is a drug readily available by prescription. It essentially works by blocking the virus from replicating. Right now the drug is recommended for those with at least one pre-existing condition and who have mild to moderate covid-19, and within five days of the start of symptoms. So far, it has proven to be an effective form of treatment.

Dr. Armando Paez, the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Baystate Medical Center said, “The clinical trials support its effectiveness in terms of preventing hospitalization and death, we’re talking about 80% in general for this drug, as well as the other drugs that are available to treat mild to moderate infection.”

Dr. Paez said if you think you are a candidate and talk to your doctor about this drug, it’s crucial to share all your medication, even over the counter and herbal because it can interact with other medications.

The important take away here is don’t wait to get tested, otherwise you will miss the five day window in which Paxlovid can be administered.