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Experience getting Paxlovid in Sweden?

Unfortunately have caught COVID here in Sweden, first time for me in 4 years. While not life threatening, it's hit me hard and I've had to cancel my trip to Kiruna.

I would like to get Paxlovid to help me out. Unfortunately that is easier said than done here in Sweden. I called the 1177 number and the nurse had never heard of Paxlovid and advised I call the local health clinic, I call them and they said I don't need a prescription for Paxlovid, I call the local pharmacy they said that I need a prescription for Paxlovid and they have to special order it. So now I'm waiting in my apartment for the health clinic to call me back in the Afternoon, as you can see there's a lot of waiting in the Swedish healthcare system lol.

I know it's a long shot but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with acquiring Paxlovid in Sweden and have any tips or tricks for making the system work?

Thanks!

Posted by
155 posts

advised I call the local health clinic, I call them and they said I don't need a prescription for Paxlovid

I can transalte what the health clinic meant: You will survive without Paxlovid

You could try a true private clinic (preferably from your insurance company) but I doubt you will have any success

Posted by
2508 posts

I don't know your age, but in the US I believe you have to meet age and existing condition requirements. So you might not have been able to get it if you still lived here, either.

Posted by
3992 posts

Yes I meet the requirements, I didn't want to get into the details here on the forum. The clinic in the end never called back I guess they just forgot. I thought the health clinic meant that I could just go to the pharmacy and they wouldn't need a prescription from a doctor just to ask me a few questions and then they could "give" me the Paxlovid. But now I'm questioning whether they actually knew what they were talking about in the first place, considering Paxlovid seems to be quite rare in Sweden. I don't even know how to go about finding these private clinics.

I guess this is a cautionary tale for those Americans traveling to Sweden in the future, if you get sick with COVID here you're basically on your own, it's not treated so seriously.

As a short-term resident I've had a lot of difficulty with accessing health care services here, there are all these hoops you have to jump through, people you have to call, queues you have to wait in.

Posted by
155 posts

I guess this is a cautionary tale for those Americans traveling to Sweden in the future, if you get sick with COVID here you're basically on your own, it's not treated so seriously.

Turn on the TV and you will soon notice that healthcare isn't based on commercials.

You don't order stuff from a public health clinic, you tell them what your problem is and they tell you what to do.

According to 1177.se you should contact the health clinic if you get breathless when moving around or so tired that you more or less need to lie down. Otherwise you can relieve the symptoms with over the counter stuff from the pharmacy.

I don't know of any country-wide private chains. In Stockholm there are for example https://sjukhus.sophiahemmet.se/sophiadirekt/ , they offer doctor visits "from 2500 SEK", maybe they can tell you the chance of getting what you want over the phone.

Posted by
3992 posts

don't know of any country-wide private chains. In Stockholm there are for example https://sjukhus.sophiahemmet.se/sophiadirekt/ , they offer doctor visits "from 2500 SEK", maybe they can tell you the chance of getting what you want over the phone.

Thanks for this info I will check them out.

Posted by
27405 posts

I don't think this is a Swedish thing. It may be a non-USA thing. I know we've had at least one other post about not being able to get Paxlovid in Europe. It didn't involve Sweden; I think it was Italy, but I may be wrong. A very few others here have reported getting a prescription from their doctors prior to a trip and filling it so they'd have the drug on hand if they got COVID in Europe. (I'm not promoting that idea, just reporting it.)

Posted by
597 posts

On our previous trips to Europe in 2022 and 2023, our plan for my highly immunocompromised spouse if he was to get Covid was to go to an Urgent Care or ER. He would be eligible for it here in BC (where one has to meet a number of criteria to be eligible) but his medical situation is a bit complicated and can easily scare off a primary care physician who isn’t familiar with him re prescribing anything.

Posted by
6646 posts

I'm sorry to hear that, I hope you get well soon!

Paxlovid is available at pharmacies in Sweden, although smaller pharmacies might not keep in the back. But it's prescription only so you need to see a doctor first. However, if you're otherwise healthy, vaccinated and not in a risk group they will most likely not prescribe it.

You don't need to share your medical information, but if you are in a risk group it can be a good idea to speak to a doctor. Book an appointment at your local vårdcentral.

Posted by
10340 posts

I got runny-nose Covid in the plane on the way to visit family in the US in November. Not a big deal. But my DIL made a video appointment for me within minutes of my positive test. The nurse practitioner screened me for age, symptoms, other current diagnosis, and medications before issuing a Paxlovid prescription. It wasn't given without a screening visit.

Upon return to France, my French doctor said he wouldn't have prescribed it due to possible side effects.
Indeed, the US prescribes a lot of drugs. Watching the two recent Netflix videos on the prescription drug addiction crises, it's easy to see how drugs are pushed legally.

Posted by
3992 posts

Ended up not being able get Paxlovid (today being the last day as it's already been 5 days since my symptoms started). It was a race against time but the inertia of Swedish bureaucracy proved too formidable of a foe.

Posted by
9436 posts

“I don't know your age, but in the US I believe you have to meet age and existing condition requirements. So you might not have been able to get it if you still lived here, either.”

It’s always a problem when people say “in the US”… I can’t speak about any other state but here in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area where i live, anyone can get a prescription for Paxlovid. Anyone can even get a prescription online (no healthcare worker involved) and fill it at any pharmacy.

Paxlovid is not an addictive drug, it shortens the length of time you are positive, and it keeps Covid from getting worse and you having to be admitted to a hospital.

Carlos, i hope you’re improving and you feel 100% well very soon.

Posted by
3992 posts

Thanks everyone for the well wishes!

I first thought it was food poisoning because I had a lot of violent vomiting and then came the intense fatigue for two or three days where I couldn't even get out of bed, and then now the fever that's been going on and off for this whole time plus a terrible sore throat almost like strep throat. Thankfully I have friends here who are able to buy food/water for me, it doesn't help that we are all snowed in here due heavy snow the last few days and the weather is terrible last night was like -20. I was actually in a pretty bad way the first day or two because I had just got back from Spain and didn't have any water or much food in my apartment. Thankfully the tap water in Sweden is of excellent quality I think some of the best in the world so that helped for making sure I wasn't getting dehydrated.

I ended up having to miss the important first day of the new semester for my work study program here, one of the main reasons I wanted the paxlovid to get better sooner.

Posted by
3992 posts

Paxlovid is not an addictive drug, it shortens the length of time you are positive, and it keeps Covid from getting worse and you having to be admitted to a hospital.

Yes exactly!

Posted by
674 posts

I hope you are feeling better every day, Carlos.

We both tested positive on Christmas Day 2022 and did online appointments with NPs to get prescriptions for Paxlovid. Between the two of us we only took 3 1/2 days of pills (I did 2 days and husband did 1.5). At that point we decided the Paxlovid side effects were far worse, for us, than our Covid symptoms.

Posted by
10340 posts

Even if you had gotten the Paxlovid, you are still supposed to isolate for five days from first symptoms, and then test negative twice forty,-eight hours apart. You would have been contagious for the first day of class even with Paxlovid. Now that you're at five days, hopefully you'll test negative soon.

It's really going around now. Neighbors just got back from visiting a son in Montréal. They caught it in the transatlantic flight and were really sick. They had forgotten to get a booster.
Get well soon.

Posted by
5260 posts

So sorry to hear that you became ill with Covid, I hope you recuperate soon.

Posted by
9851 posts

Carlos, I hope you get to feeling better soon. I am sorry you have been so sick.

Posted by
781 posts

Wishing you a speedy recovery Carlos. I'm sorry that you could not get the paxlovid.

Posted by
3992 posts

Thanks again everyone, I appreciate it!

Posted by
6646 posts

I hope you get well soon!

Thankfully I have friends here who are able to buy food/water for me,
[…] I had just got back from Spain and didn't have any water or much
food in my apartment.

Just out of curiosity, but do you buy drinking water in bottles? There is excellent water in the tap in the kitchen.

Posted by
9436 posts

Badger, Carlos already said:

“Thankfully the tap water in Sweden is of excellent quality I think some of the best in the world so that helped for making sure I wasn't getting dehydrated.”

Posted by
33296 posts

Immediately before that Carlos said, "and didn't have any water or much food in my apartment." so I concur that it sounds like normally Carlos's tap doesn't get a lot of use for drinking when he's not sick.

Posted by
9436 posts

I hope you keep feeling better Carlos!