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When And Why is Remdesivir Used In COVID-19 Patients?

  • timeline Anoush Gomes
  • 2 Min Read
  • Fact Checked

With India currently suffering a dangerous second wave, it is understandable that panic is usually the first response. What is happening is devastating, but you can protect yourself by listening to accurate information from medical professionals, instead of forwards on social media. The drug Remdesivir has been in high demand with even influencers spreading information about where and how to find and get the drug. This frenzy led to many hoarding the drug under the impression that it would save them, should they become infected with the COVID-19 virus.

This is simply not true.

When and why is Remdesivir used?

  • Remdesivir is an antiviral drug by acting on virus replication
  • It isn’t recommended for those exhibiting mild symptoms
  • Used in hospitalized  patients with low oxygen levels to treat SARS-CoV-2 virus
  • Can be used in patient who are not on Oxygen support but have high risk of disease progression
  • Has zero links to affecting mortality rates among severe or critical COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation

The drug was initially developed to treat Hepatitis C and was later used to also treat the Ebola virus and the Marburg virus. It now can help reduce the recovery time in patients that have moderate symptoms without assisted ventilation.

What experts have to say

According to WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan as per available evidence, “Remdesivir given to hospitalized patients, didn’t reduce mortality, it didn’t reduce the duration of hospitalization and it didn’t affect the progression of the disease.”

However, recent meta analysis by one of the British societies, with more than 10000 patients, has observed a positive impact of Remdesivir on clinical outcomes of hospitalized Covid-19 patients. A five day course of Remdesivir has less side effects than a ten days course and is superior in clinical improvement and recovery with early discharge. But there was no improvement in mortality in patients.

While there are many suffering from the virus, it is important to understand that hoarding a drug you may not need may affect the life of someone who really needs it. There are no magical drugs proven to cure COVID-19 infection. Safety precautions is the mainstay in prevention of the infection. 

Testing and early detection is the needed, so please get tested for the virus if you or someone around you is exhibiting symptoms of the infection. Spread accurate information about the COVID-19 virus, it’s symptoms, vaccines and treatment – we’re all in this together!

 

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    Anoush Gomes

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