Date published: 
25 August 2022
Type: 
News
Intended audience: 
General public
COVID-19 oral treatments

COVID-19 treatments can be taken in your own home and can help reduce your symptoms.

The medications are taken as tablets or capsules every 12 hours for 5 days and should be started within 5 days from when symptoms begin, or as soon as possible after testing positive for COVID-19 if you have no symptoms.

You may be eligible for oral treatments if you test positive for COVID-19, and are :

  • 70 years or older, regardless of risk factors, and with or without symptoms
  • 50 years or older with 2 additional risk factors
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, 30 years or older and with 2 risk factors.

Risk factors for these groups include:

  • living in residential aged care
  • living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty (not limited to living in supported accommodation)
  • neurological conditions such as stroke, dementia and demyelinating conditions e.g. multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • chronic respiratory conditions including COPD, moderate or severe asthma
  • obesity or diabetes (type I or II requiring medication)
  • heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies
  • kidney failure or cirrhosis
  • living remotely with reduced access to higher level healthcare.

People aged 18 years and older

If you test positive for COVID-19 and are 18 years and older, you may be eligible for oral treatments if you are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Moderately or severely immunocompromising conditions include:

  • blood cancer or some red blood cell disorders (thalassemia, sickle cell disease)
  • transplant recipient
  • primary or acquired (HIV) immunodeficiency
  • chemotherapy or whole-body radiotherapy in the last 3 months
  • high dose corticosteroids or pulse corticosteroid therapy in the last 3 months
  • immunosuppressive treatments in the last 3 months
  • rituximab in the last 12 months
  • cerebral palsy or down syndrome
  • congenital heart disease
  • living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty.

You need a prescription to receive oral COVID-19 treatments so talk to your healthcare worker about your eligibility.

Watch a video on the Department of Health and Aged care website with Dr Lucas de Toca about COVID-19 oral treatments, including who is eligible, when to take them, and how to access them in rural or remote areas.