COVID-19 TREATMENT AT DUPAGE IMMEDIATE CARE
At DuPage Immediate Care, we have started the COVID-19 treatment (Monoclonal Antibody (MAP) Treatment With Bamlanivimab) to our patients under the direction of our infectious disease and pulmonary physicians.
MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY (MAB) TREATMENT WITH BAMLANIVIMAB
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, you may have a new treatment option – it’s called monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment.
If you already have the virus, mAb treatment gives your body the antibodies it needs to protect itself. Some early evidence suggests that for certain people mAb treatment can reduce the amount of virus in the body and may help their symptoms improve sooner, thereby, decreasing the likelihood of them being hospitalized. However, bamlanivimab, the drug used for the treatment, is a new drug that’s still being studied, so there’s a lot that scientists
don’t know about the benefits and risks.
WHO CAN GET THIS TREATMENT?
Bamlanivimab is a treatment option for people with COVID-19 who:
- Are age 12 or older
- Have had mild to moderate symptoms for 10 days or less
- Are at high risk to get very sick from COVID-19
Ages 12-17 (weighing at least 88lbs) must meet at least one of the following criteria
- Has obesity, with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 85 percent of children the same age or gender
- Has heart disease
- Has sickle cell disease
- Has a developmental condition, like cerebral palsy
- Has asthma or a long-term lung disease that requires daily medication for control
- Regularly uses medical technology, like a ventilator or feeding tube
Adults must meet one of the following criteria
- Are age 65 or older
- Have obesity, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher
- Have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or a condition that weakens the immune system
- Take medication that weakens the immune system
- Are age 55 or older and have at least one of the following:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Long-term lung disease
This drug is not for people who are already in the hospital because of their COVID-19 symptoms. If you’re not sure whether bamlanivimab is right for you, talk with your doctor or contact us. For more information, please refer to the Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents and Caregivers.
HOW WILL I RECEIVE THIS TREATMENT?
First, medical staff will conduct a screening; then you will receive one dose of bamlanivimab by IV infusion through a vein which will take 16 – 60 minutes or longer. Your healthcare provider will determine the duration of your infusion.
Afterward, the medical staff will have you stay for another hour to be sure you aren’t having an allergic reaction or other side effects. These reactions are rare, but the staff must observe you for this hour. Then you’ll be released to go home.
WHAT IS BAMLANIVIMAB? HOW DOES IT WORK?
When there’s a virus in your body, like COVID-19, your immune system makes antibodies to fight it off. But it takes time for your body to make antibodies for a new virus — and in the meantime, you could get very sick. Bamlanivimab, the drug being used for this treatment, is a drug containing man-made antibodies that are similar to the antibodies of patients who recovered from COVID-19 and it is designed to recognize SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Scientists think that these antibodies may help limit the amount of virus in your body and giving it more time to learn how to make its own antibodies, decreasing the likelihood of getting hospitalized. Bamlanivimab does not have any COVID-19 virus in it.
mAb treatment for COVID-19 is different from a COVID-19 vaccine. A vaccine triggers your body’s natural immune response, but can take weeks to develop enough antibodies and prevent some kinds of infection. Some vaccines for COVID-19 require two shots, so your body can develop its own immune response to the disease. But if you already have the virus, mAb treatment gives your body the antibodies it needs to protect itself.
CAN ANTIBODY TREATMENT MAKE ME SICK?
Antibody treatments don’t contain any live SARS-CoV-2, so there’s no risk you’ll get COVID-19 from mAb treatment. However, antibody treatment may have side effects.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS?
Allergic reactions such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Swelling of face, throat, lips
- Rash, hives, itching
- Muscle aches
These are not all side effects of bamlanivimab. Not a lot of people have been given bamlanivimab. Serious and unexpected side effects may happen. Bamlanivimab is still being studied so it is possible that all of the risks are not known at this time. For more information, refer to the Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents and Caregivers.
WHAT IF I AM PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING?
There is limited experience treating pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers with bamlanivimab. For a mother and unborn baby, the benefit of receiving bamlanivimab may be greater than the risk from the treatment. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss your options and specific situation with your healthcare provider.
Read the Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents and Caregivers for more information about bamlanivimab, the drug used in this treatment.