Key points

  • Two new oral antiviral medicines have recently been approved for use in Australia.
  • An advantage of the oral antiviral medicines is that many people (at risk of progressing to severe disease) will be able to receive treatment for COVID-19 in their own homes, without the need to travel to hospital for treatment as an inpatient.
  • Antiviral medicines (oral and IV) are not a substitute for vaccination and do not replace the need for vaccination.
  • Not everyone diagnosed with COVID-19 will need an oral or IV antiviral medicine. These treatments will be of most benefit to people at greatest risk of progressing to severe disease, or who are in hospital with severe disease.


In this episode, NPS MedicineWise medical advisor Dr Caroline West speaks with Prof Sarah Hilmer and Prof Josh Davis, members of the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Guidelines Leadership Group. They give an update on the new antiviral treatments now available and answer some frequently asked COVID management questions.

Read the transcript

See here for CPD details

Information about antiviral medicines for COVID-19

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Using COVID-19 antiviral medicines where need is greatest

Oral and other antiviral medicines for the treatment of mild COVID-19 are available for treating Australians at high risk of disease progression. This includes in care facilities, health services and remote communities. These articles provide answers to questions prescribers and pharmacists may have when providing care in these settings.

FAQs: use of COVID-19 oral antiviral agents in residential aged care

COVID-19 oral antivirals and sotrovimab in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

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Oral antivirals and sotrovimab for adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who do not require oxygen

At-a-glance information about the three medicines currently recommended for use in the treatment of non-hospitalised adults with mild–moderate COVID-19 infection, who do not require oxygen but are at risk of progressing to severe disease.

View our summary tables

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The oral antivirals molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir are both listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for use in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of progressing to severe disease.