Date: February 2022, Version 1.0

What is it?

Paxlovid is an antiviral medicine, taken as tablets. It is used in people with COVID-19 who are at risk of developing severe symptoms.


What are the benefits of using Paxlovid in pregnancy?

Paxlovid can stop early COVID-19 infection from developing into serious illness. However, it is not currently recommended in pregnancy. This is because Paxlovid is new and there is not yet any information about its use in pregnancy.


What are the risks of using Paxlovid in pregnancy?

It is not known whether there are any risks of using Paxlovid in pregnancy. This may change over the coming months as information is collected about women who take Paxlovid before realising they are pregnant and pregnant women who choose to take part in clinical trials involving Paxlovid.

If you have taken Paxlovid in pregnancy or became pregnant shortly after you finished taking it, please tell your doctor or midwife so that information about your pregnancy can be collected. If you live in the UK, you can speak to UKTIS (telephone: 0344 892 0909, available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, excluding Bank Holidays) for advice and to report the details of your pregnancy.


Are there any alternatives to using Paxlovid in pregnancy?

Yes. Other medicines can help prevent severe COVID-19 infection. Synthetic (manmade) antibodies like casirivimab/imdevimab (Ronapreve®) and sotrovimab (Xevudy®) are also new but are thought unlikely to be harmful in pregnancy because they only target the COVID-19 virus.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended for all pregnant women in the UK. It can lower the chance of infection, help to prevent serious illness and may reduce the need for other medicines. For more information, please see here.

No treatment

What if I prefer not to take medicines to treat COVID-19 during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness and higher risks of premature delivery and stillbirth as a consequence. Your doctor will only offer medicines to treat COVID-19 when necessary and will be happy to talk to you about any concerns that you might have.

Will I or my baby need extra monitoring?

As part of routine antenatal care, most women will be offered a scan at 12 weeks of pregnancy and a more detailed scan at around 20 weeks to check the baby’s development. Women who have used Paxlovid in early pregnancy may be offered further scans in a Fetal Medicine Unit to check the baby’s development in detail.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has used Paxlovid?

We would not expect any effects on the baby if the father has used Paxlovid.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your healthcare provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.