“Paxlovid rebound” refers to people who have taken Paxlovid and experience a return of their symptoms several days after they initially recover and test negative for COVID-19. 

Results from a Pfizer study from May 2023, showed that 10% to 16% of users experienced a recurrence of their symptoms after taking Paxlovid. While medical experts continue to monitor this issue, data from Pfizer and the CDC show that the COVID-19 “rebound” illness is mild. The CDC continues to recommend this antiviral as a treatment for people who test positive and are at higher risk for disease progression and severe illness.

If you experience Paxlovid rebound, you should restart the recommended five-day isolation period and remain masked for 10 days to avoid exposing others to the virus. Medical professionals do not recommend extending your treatment or being treated again with Paxlovid. You should contact a healthcare provider if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Updated November 9, 2023