Paxlovid Rebound is Real

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I successfully avoided Covid for over 2 years. A girls’ trip to Carmel in February yielded some positive results for my girlfriends, but not for me. I began to think my fully vaxxed, double boosted self was invincible. Go Moderna. So not true.

Early in May, we were invited to a family wedding in Napa. I was worried about the Omicron surge, but there was no way we could sit this one out. That said, at the last minute I did cancel the travel plans of my 88-year-old mom. I honestly feel some family members thought I was overreacting when I did that.

I came home with Covid. It started less than 3 days later with a tickle in my throat. I had been warned about that tickle, which I may have normally thought was allergies or the beginning of a cold, by my Omicron seasoned daughter.

The next morning’s home test revealed a faint positive line that was confirmed by a PCR test. I immediately found a great telemedicine service that prescribed Paxlovid for me that same day. My prayers were answered! I sat back and binged watched Mrs. Maisel.

I sailed pretty well through recovery, testing negative on day 8 and went out without a mask after day 10. That freedom was short-lived. On day 12, my birthday, when I was away with my entire family, the symptoms started again and I tested positive — this time the line was NOT faint. I immediately packed up my car and my cat and left my family, including my husband there to celebrate at my birthday dinner without me.

I was definitely depressed, but resigned myself to another five days of relatively mild cold-like symptoms, quarantine and Mrs. Maisel. I was completely wrong. The symptoms came back with a vengeance unlike the first time. Constant headache, ear ache, fever, sinus pressure and worse congestion.

As I combed the internet and saw Twitter exploding with the same news, I began to read @bob_wachter on Twitter. Bob is the Chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine, and the same thing happened to his wife. While Pfizer sets this rebound rate at around 2%, Bob’s Twitter poll set it more around 40%. Since then I’ve seen another doctor’s report to be around 25% of her patients. I’m not sure all the people opting to take Paxlovid know that.

Experts are still saying that Paxlovid curtails severe illness, and hospitalization by nearly 90% — even if they rebound. I’m now going on 18 days of this, and feeling better daily, but I’m honestly not sure I would take it again knowing what I know now.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rebecca Daugherty

Former corporate entertainment marketing exec. Lover of words, books, cats, coffee, nature, family, friends and laughter.