Monoclonal antibody therapy and COVID-19

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Monoclonal antibody therapy is an infusion treatment that can reduce the severity of COVID-19. Here are some of the commonly asked questions about the treatment.

Q: What are monoclonal antibodies and how do they work?

A: Monoclonal are proteins created in a lab. The proteins mimic your immune system and are meant to make COVID-19 disease milder in patients who are already sick.

Q: Who is eligible to receive the treatment?

A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization to permit the use of monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighting at least 85 pounds) who test positive for COVID-19 and who are at high risk for moderate to severe COVID-19.

Q: If I can get antibody treatment when I get COVID, why do I need to bother with the vaccine?

A: The vaccine has been shown to be highly effective at preventing the acquisition of COVID-19 and significantly reduces symptoms if any strain is contracted. The monoclonal antibody is not as effective as the vaccine at preventing COVID-19 and you can't get the therapy until after you test positive. It is also crucial to get the monoclonal antibody treatment quickly after discovering a positive case. Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to schedule the treatment and should be considered a last line of defense to avoid hospitalization from this disease. Lastly, monoclonal antibody treatment may not work for everyone, which is another reason to get vaccinated.

Q; I tested positive for COVID, but I don't have symptoms. Can I get the antibody treatment?

A: If you test positive and have one of the risk factors for severe COVID-19, including, but not limited to, being 65 or older, obesity, , diabetes, immunosuppressive disease, immunosuppressive treatment, cardiovascular disease, , pregnancy, , or other conditions that confer medical complexity (for example: , genetic/metabolic syndromes, severe congenital anomalies, or medical related technological dependent (for example: tracheostomy or gastrostomy)), you should contact your primary care provider and ask for a referral to receive the treatment.

Q: Is the treatment effective?

A: Monoclonal antibodies have been shown to be effective, but more data is required for full FDA approval. Currently, the medication is only available through an Emergency Use Authorization.

Q: How can I get the therapy?

A: You should speak with your primary care provider regarding monoclonal antibody therapy. Monoclonal antibody therapy requires a physician order.

Q: How is it administered?

A: The medication can be administered via an intravenous infusion or four shots in four different locations on the body. A must administer the therapy since it requires a one-hour observation period post administration to ensure the medication was well tolerated.


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Citation: Monoclonal antibody therapy and COVID-19 (2021, October 19) retrieved 7 December 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-monoclonal-antibody-therapy-covid-.html
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