A COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (MAB) treatment clinic is necessary to treat newly active cases of COVID. These clinics meet the needs of the community during this time of increased infection rates and hospitalization. MABs are designed to directly bind to the COVID-19 virus, helping prevent the progression of the disease.
Currently, there are three products authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the emergency use for COVID-19 treatment outside the hospital. Emergency use authorization (EUA) is different from FDA approval. The purpose of EUA medication is to provide more timely access to critical medical products during the emergency when approved alternative options are not available. The three products with EUA in outpatient COVID-19 treatment are bamlanivimab + etesevimab, casirivimab + imdevimab, and sotrovimab. Casirivimab + imdevimab is also indicated for post-exposure prophylaxis in vulnerable populations. Kohll’s Rx has a MAB treatment clinic and uses casirivimab + imdevimab treatment at their Millard clinic location.
Who can receive the treatment? The EUA provides specific requirements. Casirivimab + imdevimab should be used in medium to high risk adult or pediatric patients at least 12 years old and weighing at least 88 lbs. Common high risk factors include advanced age, obesity (BMI 25 or greater), pregnancy, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, and immunosuppressive disease. Since it is most effective when given early in infection, when used in mild and moderate infections, treatment should be given as soon as possible following the positive COVID-19 PCR or antigen test. It must be given within 10 days of symptom onset. Patients who are hospitalized, require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19 infection, or require increased baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 infections are not authorized to receive this treatment. For post-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 treatment, patients have to be immunocompromised or not fully vaccinated, and have been exposed or at high risk of exposure to a COVID-19 infected individual.
Qualified patients with or without a provider’s referral can make an appointment for the COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment at Kohll’s Rx. At the clinic, patient demographic information will be collected and questions will be addressed before the treatment. A full dose of casirivimab + imdevimab includes 4 injections given subcutaneously usually at the back of each upper arm and each side of the abdomen. The most common side effect for the product appears to be injection site pain. This product is investigational and clinical trials for safety and efficacy are ongoing. To help catch the early adverse effects, patient’s vitals will be checked before, after, and 60 minutes post-administration. Written information about the treatment is given to all patients who received this treatment at our clinic.
This MAB treatment is by no means a substitute for vaccination. However, it is exciting that we are able to offer it to our patients. So far, many patients are reporting an improvement in their symptoms within a few days. Hopefully, with this treatment, more patients with mild to moderate symptoms can be prevented from infection progression and hospitalization.