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Treatments for COVID-19

The NHS offers treatment to people with COVID-19 who are at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill.

Who can have COVID-19 treatment

You're eligible for COVID-19 treatment without being admitted to hospital if all the following apply:

  • you're aged 12 or over
  • you're at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • you have tested positive for COVID-19

Some treatments are also available through a national study to a wider group of people, including those aged 50 years old and over (or 18 years old and over with a health condition that puts them at increased risk of COVID-19).

Visit the Panoramic trial website if you're interested in taking part.

People at highest risk

You may be at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you have:

  • Down's syndrome, or another chromosomal condition that affects your immune system
  • certain types of cancer, or had treatment for certain types of cancer
  • sickle cell disease
  • certain conditions affecting your blood
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
  • severe liver disease
  • had an organ transplant
  • certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease
  • HIV or AIDS and have a weakened immune system
  • a condition affecting your immune system
  • a condition affecting the brain or nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, motor neurone disease, myasthenia gravis, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease or certain types of dementia
  • certain lung conditions or treatments for lung conditions

This list is a summary and does not cover everything.

If you're unsure if you are eligible, speak to your doctor or hospital specialist who can advise you.

Find out more about people at the highest risk who are eligible for COVID-19 treatment on GOV.UK

Treatments for COVID-19

The treatments available for people at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are:

Nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir, remdesivir and molnupiravir are antiviral medicines.

Sotrovimab is known as a neutralising monoclonal antibody (nMAb). Sotrovimab is recommended if nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (Paxlovid) is not suitable.

Some treatments come as capsules or tablets that you swallow. Others are given to you through a drip in your arm (infusion), usually in a hospital or local health centre.

These treatments can help some people manage their COVID-19 symptoms and reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill.

You'll be told which treatment, if any, is most suitable for you.


If you need to go into hospital for COVID-19, you may get other treatments.

How to get COVID-19 treatment

Local NHS organisations are responsible for arranging COVID-19 treatments. The way you get treatment may depend on where you live.

Your local integrated care board (ICB) can give you more information.

If you think you're in the highest risk group and need to access COVID-19 treatment, but do not have information from your local NHS organisation, follow these steps to be considered for a referral.

1. Take a rapid lateral flow test if you get symptoms

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, take a rapid lateral flow test as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are mild. Only take a test if you have symptoms.

If you're eligible for COVID-19 treatment, you should keep rapid lateral flow tests at home.

You can order free NHS rapid lateral flow test kits on GOV.UK or by calling NHS 119.

You can also use tests you've paid for, for example, a test you've bought from a supermarket or pharmacy.

2. If your test is positive, call your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist

Call your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist as soon as possible if your test result is positive.

They'll decide if you need referring for an assessment for COVID-19 treatment.

They may ask what other medicines you take or receive, including any vitamins and minerals, so it's important to have a list of these ready.

If you're eligible for treatment, it's important to start the treatment as soon as you can. Treatments for COVID-19 need to be given quickly after your symptoms start to be effective.

The medicine can be collected on your behalf by someone else, such as a friend or relative. Alternatively, the NHS may be able to arrange for the medicine to be delivered to you.

If the treatment needs to be given as a drip in your arm (infusion), you'll usually get it at your local hospital or in a local health centre.

You'll get instructions on where to get the treatment and how to get there and back safely.

3. If your test is negative, do a total of 3 tests over 3 days

If your test result is negative, but you still have symptoms of COVID-19, you need to do a total of 3 rapid lateral flow tests over 3 days.

For example, if you did your first test today, you should do a 2nd test tomorrow and a 3rd test the day after.

More information on treatments for COVID-19

If you need information in easy read format or in a different language you can read information about treatments for COVID-19 on the NHS England website.

Page last reviewed: 21 March 2023
Next review due: 21 March 2026