This Candy Is the Only Thing That Helped My Terrible “Paxlovid Mouth”

If anybody who’s taken Paxlovid, a preferred prescription therapy for COVID-19, you’ve most likely heard speak of an terrible facet impact: the Paxlovid aftertaste. However “terrible” is an understatement. And, actually, so is “aftertaste,” as a result of it’s not only a unhealthy taste that lingers in your tongue for a couple of minutes after swallowing a capsule—it’s a disgusting, invisible monster that occupies your total mouth for 5 straight days.

Paxlovid is an antiviral therapy in the type of a five-day capsule pack, and although it comes with the unlucky mouth monster, I’m nonetheless strongly professional. In December, Paxlovid was licensed for emergency use by the FDA for delicate to average circumstances of COVID, and it’s just lately develop into extra broadly obtainable. Whereas it received’t remedy COVID, it could possibly make signs much less extreme, and in medical research it drastically diminished hospitalization charges.

Apart from the chance of what the CDC calls “COVID-19 Rebound” (signs reappearing after finishing the Paxlovid course), the most typical unintended effects embody an altered sense of style, digestive points, hypertension, and muscle aches. These are all preferable to lots of the COVID horror tales I’d heard and skim, so once I lastly examined constructive a number of days after my unvaccinated toddler picked up the virus from daycare, I texted my husband an image of my constructive take a look at with a powerful sequence of expletives. Then I known as my physician to request Paxlovid.

The COVID signs began to hit me laborious proper round the time my mother-in-law dropped my prescription on my entrance porch, so I instantly popped the first three-pill dose. It definitely wasn’t good—much like an uncoated aspirin however extra bitter—and washing it down with a lemon LaCroix solely intensified the bitterness. I didn’t suppose a lot of it, although, figuring the taste would fade rapidly. As an alternative it morphed into one thing worse. A lot worse. Others have described it as “metallic grapefruit” and I suppose that’s correct if you happen to additionally throw in notes of “dry pet food” and “over-stuffed dumpster on a scorching summer season day.”

I chugged water to attempt to wash away no matter was taking place in my mouth and went about the enterprise of making an attempt to stay upright till I may put my youngsters to mattress and take up semi-permanent residence on the sofa. However the horrendous style remained, it doesn’t matter what I ate or how a lot water I drank or what number of occasions I brushed my tooth and even used my favourite magic mouthwash. Sooner or later, I stumbled into the kitchen to take my second Paxlovid dose of the day (which was simply as foul as the first) and went to mattress. I fell asleep instantly, however the style was so horrid that it woke me up in the center of the night time. Twice.

By the subsequent morning, the fever and chills had handed and my short-lived cough was gone, too. Because of trendy medication, after one night time’s sleep I had gone from feeling like demise to feeling like I had a nasty chilly. However notes of demise remained in my mouth. Certain, I used to be fatigued and had a uninteresting headache, delicate muscle ache, and a always runny nostril, however I hardly observed any of that as a result of my senses have been fully overwhelmed by the putrid, bitter style of Paxlovid. And I nonetheless had 4 extra days to go. It was so insufferable that I—an individual who lives to eat and writes about meals and cooking—started to want for the number of COVID that may make me lose my sense of style and scent.

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