COVID-19 Treatment

covid-19-treatment monoclonal antibody treatment

Información en español

Immunocompromised & Need PrEP  Need Testing & Treatment

Tested Positive & Need Treatment

 

Treatment must be given within seven days of the onset of symptoms.

If you are interested in being considered to receive treatment at our facility in Hillcrest, please fill out the form below or call (619) 906-5420. Otherwise, we highly encourage you to contact your health plan and primary care physician (PCP) for medical advice.

COVID-19 treatments, available in both intravenous and pill forms, reduce the severity of the disease when started early and greatly decrease your chances of hospital admission or death.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q What are monoclonal antibodies?

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An antibody is a protein that is naturally produced by your body to help fight infection. A monoclonal antibody is made in a lab and works together with your body’s natural immune response. They make it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm and help to eliminate the virus from the body. Prior to COVID-19, monoclonal antibodies were used to treat other viral infections, such as Ebola and rabies.

Q What is monoclonal antibody therapy?

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Monoclonal antibody therapy is a one-time intravenous infusion, also called an IV. An intravenous infusion delivers fluids, medication or nutrition directly into a person’s bloodstream using a needle or tube. The infusion lasts around 30 minutes, followed by a one-hour observation period, and you are monitored by FHCSD staff for the entire duration of your visit.

Q What are Molnupiravir and Paxlovid?

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Both Molnupiravir and Paxlovid are antiviral treatments used to treat COVID-19. They are administered in pills, rather than an IV infusion. They are highly effective at decreasing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and the risk of hospitalization or death, but must be taken within five days of the start of symptoms. A health care provider may prescribe these pills to be taken at home over several days, similar to an antibiotic.

Q What is Remdesivir?

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Remdesivir, also called Veklury, is an antiviral medication that must be given via an IV (intravenous) infusion. It is FDA approved to be used in the hospital for 5-10 days in patients with severe COVID-19. A recent study has shown that it can also be used in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who have not been hospitalized. In this setting, it is given in a clinic via an IV infusion once daily for three consecutive days.

Q What are the risks?

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Some patients may experience rare but mild side effects. As with any medication, there is a very small chance of having an allergic reaction.

Monoclonal AntibodiesMolnupiravirPaxlovidRemdesivir
  • Pain, soreness or bruising around IV site
  • Allergic reaction (occurs about once in every 1,000 infusions)
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired sense of taste
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Increases in liver function tests
  • Allergic reaction

Molnupiravir is not recommended if you are pregnant, and reliable contraception should be used while taking the medication and four days following completion. You should also avoid breastfeeding during this time. Paxlovid is not recommended in some patients due to interactions with other medications.

Q How effective are the treatments?

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These treatments prevent the disease from becoming more severe or requiring a hospital visit.  Studies have shown that the infusions and the pills both significantly reduce the chances of severe COVID-19. Most patients report improvement of symptoms within 24 to 48 hours after treatment.

Q Who is eligible for the treatment?

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People who have tested positive and are at a greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms get the most benefit from the treatment. Your provider can determine which treatment is right for you.

The treatment can only be given within five to ten days of illness, so it is important to seek medical care and take a test for COVID-19 as soon as you develop symptoms.

Q Do I still need the vaccine if I received this treatment?

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If you received a monoclonal antibody treatment, you do not need a vaccine until 90 days after treatment. The vaccines likely will not be effective until the antibodies have had a chance to go away. However, you should still get vaccinated once the 90-day period is over for stronger, longer-lasting protection from COVID-19. Oral antivirals and Remdesivir do not interfere at all with vaccines.

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