AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Regional Clinic is seeking participants for two Pfizer COVID-19 treatment trials to test out a pill medication that could lessen symptoms of the virus.

They are testing the medication on people who are showing symptoms of the virus or have been in close contact with someone who has it.

The study will look at out how well the medication can suppress symptoms, ARC said. The medication will be tested against a placebo.

Right now, there aren’t any approved oral treatments for COVID-19, according to ARC. The only treatment for the virus is the monoclonal antibody therapy, which has to be done at a hospital or infusion center.

“We don’t have any oral treatments that a patient can take at home, so this is a trial looking to bring something to market that’s a pill that people can take if they get diagnosed with COVID,” Dr. Amy Siegel with ARC explained.

She said oral treatments like this one could take the load off hospitals that are already strained. The Pfizer pill in the study is taken twice a day for five days.

One of the trials will be for high-risk individuals and another for lower-risk individuals, according to ARC. The trials will happen at the same time.

High-risk participants should have one or more of the following characteristics/medical conditions:

  • Over 60 years of age
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
  • Immunosuppressive Disease
  • Active cancer other than skin cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Chronic Lung Disease

“It’s the same medicine for high risk and low risk. They’re just studying it in three different arms of the study,” Dr. Siegel said.

She also explained the study is just for people who are unvaccinated. Click here to learn how you can enroll in these trials.