What Is Remdesivir?
The Remdesivir injection came into the headlines in 2020, when it was found to be a promising treatment option in fighting against the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But, what is the meaning of Remdesivir? Remdesivir comes under the class of medication known as antivirals.
It was created as a possible cure for Hepatitis C and later for Ebola. Since then, medical researchers have conducted several studies on its efficacy against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Near the end of October 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its use. It is officially approved to use Remdesivir to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. Before this, doctors used it only on patients who participated in the clinical trials.
But after the approval, doctors were allowed to give Remdesivir injection to severely ill patients, to those who are hospitalized, and those who are in the advanced stage of this disease. The outcome of the treatment is that it accelerates the recovery time.
What Are The Uses of Remdesivir?
Remdesivir is an investigational antiviral agent infused intravenously to obstruct viral replication. It is effective because the medicine interferes with the RNA polymerase function.
Remdesivir medicine comes in two forms:
- As a liquid (solution)
- As a powder, it is used after mixing with liquid and then injected into a vein in your arm.
When Remdesivir medicine is injected, it stops the virus from making a specific enzyme, which is essential for the virus to multiply. As a result, it halts the spread of the virus within your body.
It is injected intravenously in a hospital setting by a doctor or a nursing staff member, and the duration of this process is about 30 to 120 minutes. The medicine has proved beneficial for those experiencing the advanced form of this virus. You receive one injection per day for about 5-10 days, but it depends on how severely ill you are. Your doctor observes you to ascertain how well your body reacts to this corona medicine.
Ideally, the Remdesivir injection is helpful if used in both, the preliminary stages and when the patient progresses towards the critical stage. The dosage should be six doses, including 200mg on the first day and Remdesivir 100mg on the remaining days.
Results from studies conducted on the outcome of Remdesivir show, that when patients with mild infection receive this medication, their symptoms improve at a faster rate. At the same time, doctors insist on using oxygen therapy, blood thinners, and vitamin supplements too, whenever needed, to support the treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Before receiving Remdesivir medicine, you must inform your doctor about the following:
- If you are allergic to any medication.
- If you ever suffered from a kidney or liver condition.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you take any vitamins, herbal products, nutrition supplements, or any specific medication.
When Remdesivir injection is a part of your COVID-19 treatment, your doctor monitors you meticulously. This corona medicine may cause some side effects, which include:
- Chills or shivering
- Dizziness on standing up suddenly
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the face and throat
- Abnormally slow or fast heartbeat
A few of the side-effects can be severe, like:
- Bleeding, swelling, or soreness around the site of the injection
- Dark urine
- Severe discomfort or pain in the right upper stomach region
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects. After this, your doctor may be able to determine if it is required to slow down, stop or alter your treatment.
What Is the Price of Remdesivir Injection?
The demand for this vital corona medicine has been high since last year. The government and the manufacturer of this drug are putting their best efforts to fast-track its production. However, the cost of this drug is a hindrance, owing to which it is inaccessible for many.
Keeping this in mind, pharmaceutical companies have declared a reduction in their costs. It comes as a massive relief at a time when our country is gearing up for a third wave.
There is continual research going on Remdesivir injection uses, their safety, and their efficacy. We must keep in mind that this medication is not a magic wand. But, it is undeniable that Remdesivir has been majorly instrumental in lowering the number of COVID-19 deaths.