By TOM MURPHY
AP Health Writer
COVID-19 patients have two treatment options that can be taken at home. But that convenience comes with a catch: The pills have to be taken as soon as possible once symptoms appear. The challenge is getting tested, getting a prescription and starting the pills within five days of the start of symptoms. U.S. regulators authorized the pills from Pfizer and Merck late last year. Both were shown to reduce the chances of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 in high-risk patients. The pills are intended for those with mild or moderate COVID-19 who are more likely to become seriously ill.