Approved Treatments for COVID-19
The U.S. government has authorized the use of certain therapies to treat COVID-19 for high-risk patients, including many people with diabetes. If you or a loved one has diabetes and COVID-19, here’s what you need to know about these “monoclonal antibody treatments.”
Monoclonal antibodies are engineered to bolster your immune response to bacteria, viruses, and other harmful cells. Like your body’s own antibodies, monoclonal antibodies are designed to recognize germs that cause disease and neutralize them.
In November 2020, the FDA reviewed safety and efficacy data on three different antibody treatments and granted “Emergency Use Authorizations” (EUAs) for each. The first therapy is bamlanivimab and the second is a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, both of which are authorized for outpatients (non-hospitalized individuals) with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk. The third therapy is baricitinib, authorized for use in combination with remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
In February 2021, the FDA granted an EUA for an additional therapy (the combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab) who are at high risk.
These treatments are administered as infusions, and they are in special sites that can accommodate patients who are COVID-19-positive. They can only be obtained through a doctor's order or through a request for “compassionate use,” and only if a physician determines that a patient is an appropriate candidate for this therapy.