Should people with lupus know about COVID-19 treatments?
By Robert S Katz MD, Chairman of the Board of the Lupus Society of Illinois
In those who become infected with COVID-19, treatments are now available. All treatments are more effective if given as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 test. Since the Omicron variant is milder, these drugs should be administered to only those who are highly vulnerable or who appear to be getting quite sick.
Two oral (pill form) medications, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, and an intravenous (IV) medication Remdesivir.
The FDA has authorized the emergency use authorization (EUA) of Paxlovid, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children (12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds [40 kg]) with a positive test for the virus that causes COVID-19, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an EUA for Molnupiravir for the treatment of adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are within 5 days of symptom onset, who are at high risk of progressing to severe disease, and for whom alternative antiviral therapies are not accessible or clinically appropriate.
Paxlovid appears to be quite effective and was more helpful than Molnupiravir. These easy-to-use coronavirus treatments can be taken at home, especially during surges like the recent omicron wave. Paxlovid supplies have been limited, and it may be easier at this moment to receive Molnupiravir even though it appears to be somewhat less effective than Paxlovid.
People who are newly infected and at high risk of severe disease can more easily take the pills than the antibody drug, which require an infusion at a hospital or clinic
Remdesivir is a prescription medicine used to treat COVID-19 in adults and children at least 12 years old and weighing at least 88 pounds requiring hospitalization. Revdesivir is given through a vein by intravenous (IV) infusion, one time each day for up to 10 days, as determined by your healthcare provider.
All treatments are all highly effective against the omicron COVID-19 variants if taken soon after a positive test, but because the omicron variant is milder, these drugs should be administered to only those who are highly vulnerable or who appear to be getting quite sick.
Robert S Katz, M.D.