We are about a year into the pandemic, and we have been through stay-at-home orders, shutdowns, social distancing, and mask-wearing. We have been separated from our loved ones and found new ways to stay in touch. There are three vaccines that have been approved for use, and a few more in clinical trials. The feeling is hopeful that with continued intentional behavior in combination with vaccines that there will be a slow roll back to normalcy. Some other good news is that there have been a number of treatments that have proven to reduce symptoms and deadly effects of the COVID-19 virus. Some have been given authorization for use and others are in trials.
These therapies include:
Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine that was approved for use in patients that were hospitalized with COVID-19. This medication was originally used to treat Ebola but showed great promise in helping those with COVID-19 recover faster. It helped to prevent the virus from replicating. While it can be prescribed for anyone hospitalized with the virus, some doctors feel it is not a cure. It does have some side effects, such as elevation of liver enzymes and allergic reactions. These side effects are the reason why is it being recommended for those who are hospitalized.
Bamlanivimab is an antibody that had been made in a lab. They are proteins that mimic antibodies produced naturally by the immune system when it is fighting off viruses. It has been granted emergency authorization for use to treat those that have a mild to moderate case of COVID but are high risk for progression to a severe case. This is not for use in patients that are hospitalized or using oxygen.
Casirivimab and Imdevimab is a cocktail that has been authorized for emergency use. This is used in pediatric and adult patients that have a mild to moderate case of COVID but are at high risk for progression to a more severe case. This is not for use in patients that are hospitalized or using oxygen. It has been shown to reduce the number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits from COVID. Studies are still continuing for this medication.
There are some other medications that are currently being tested and used as experimental treatments for COVID-19 with positive results. While we are not out of the woods, yet, we are hopeful we will be. There is more information available about COVID-19, mesothelioma, and other potentially deadly conditions.