Monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of COVID 19
According to a recent study by researchers of Mayo Clinic, Monoclonal Antibody treatment combo was found effective against mild to moderate COVID patients. So what are Monoclonal antibodies? And how are they helping us against the battle against COVID-19? Dhani’s Brand Head, Vivek Bhatia was joined by Dr Adrita Banerjee who helped us in understanding all things Monoclonal antibodies. Here are the excerpts from the insightful chat.
VB: We are hearing about patients receiving monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of COVID 19. Doctor, could you tell us something about this? Is this a new treatment?
Dr: Monoclonal antibodies have been used for treating COVID-19 in several countries across the world and are now approved by the Drug Controller (DGCI) for use in India. A combination of 2 monoclonal antibodies, Casirivimab and imdevimab, is available for use in India. They have been found to be very effective in treating COVID 19.
VB: Could you tell us about how this treatment works?
Dr: Monoclonal antibodies gained media attention with the news in October 2020 that Donald Trump had received the experimental regeneron antibody treatment. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses. In the case of COVID -19, the monoclonal antibodies are specifically directed to act against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus causing COVID -19. They act by blocking the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells. These are usually given as a single dose injection.
VB: Can it be given to everyone with COVID- 19?
Dr: Not really. As with all medications, there are very specific criteria for receiving monoclonal antibodies. They are to be used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and children (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms) who have a positive COVID- 19 test result and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. This includes those who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions. The treatment is effective when given within ten days of onset of symptoms so that it prevents the disease from progressing.
It is not given to patients who are hospitalised or who are receiving oxygen therapy. It may do more harm in such cases. If someone is suffering from COVID- 19, it is best to speak with your doctor who will suggest the best course of action.
VB: Are there any side effects that we should worry about?
Dr: Few side effects have been noted such as nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, headache, and body pain, rashes etc. There may be a serious allergic reaction, as with any other treatment hence the patients are given this treatment in a day care setting in hospital.
VB: Is there anything else you would like to share with our listeners?
Dr: Thank you for listening. If you have any queries, please reach out to any of our experience doctors on the Dhani doctor panel and they will be able to help you with your health concerns.
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