What are COVID-19 Therapeutics?
COVID-19 Therapeutics are treatments that have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) for use with select patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. COVID-19 Therapeutics include Oral Antiviral Therapy and Monoclonal Antibody Therapy.
What is Oral Antiviral Therapy?
Oral Antiviral Therapy is antiviral medication taken by mouth that can treat viral infections.
What are monoclonal antibodies (Mab.)?
Monoclonal antibodies (Mab.) are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful viruses and bacteria that can cause disease.
Why choose to receive Oral Antiviral Therapy or Mab. therapy for COVID-19?
Oral Antiviral Therapy and Mab. therapy may help minimize the potential for higher-risk patients to progress to severe disease and/or hospitalization.
Who can receive outpatient Oral Antiviral Therapy or Mab. therapy for COVID-19?
In general, if you test positive for COVID-19, are at higher risk of developing severe disease or hospitalization, and meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to receive Oral Antiviral Therapy or Mab. therapy for COVID-19:
- You are not hospitalized,
- Your COVID-19 test comes back positive,
- You have had mild to moderate symptoms that started less than 5 days ago for Oral Antiviral Therapy or less than 10 days ago for Mab., and
- You have certain medical conditions or other factors that may place you at higher risk of progressing to severe infection, such as being:
- Age 65 years or older,
- Obese or overweight, which may include a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or higher for adults,
- On immunosuppressive treatment,
- Dependent on medical-related technology (tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or ventilation) not related to COVID, or
- Are diagnosed with:
- Chronic kidney disease,
- An immunosuppressive disease,
- Cardiovascular disease (including congenital heart disease),
- Chronic lung disease, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), moderate to severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pulmonary hypertension,
- Sickle cell disease, or
- Neurodevelopmental disorders, like cerebral palsy
- Some other chronic health conditions may also qualify
What are the names of the Oral Antivirals or Mab. therapy used for outpatient treatment of COVID-19?
Multiple Oral Antivirals and Mab. therapies have been issued an EUA by the FDA for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients. More information on these therapies is available at: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions
How are the Oral Antivirals or Mab. therapy administered to patients?
Oral Antivirals are prescribed for the patient by their healthcare provider and are taken by mouth. Mab. therapy may be given intravenously (with an IV through a vein) or subcutaneously (injected beneath the skin).
How do I obtain Oral Antivirals or Mab. therapy if I qualify?
Generally, you must see a healthcare provider to obtain these therapies. If you qualify for their use, a healthcare provider can provide you with a prescription for the Oral Antiviral medications or they may provide you with a referral to a Mab. Therapy center instead. Multiple centers are available locally to provide the therapy. While some require a healthcare provider referral, others may not.
The Tennessee Department of Health has posted a webpage where you can locate Mab. resources in your area: https://covid19.tn.gov/antibody-infusion-locations/. A referral from your healthcare provider may be required at some facilities. It is best to call ahead to verify your selected facility’s requirements in this regard.
For additional information regarding COVID-19 Oral Antivirals or Mab. therapy, students may contact the SHC by calling the Telephone Triage Nurse at (865) 974-5080. University employees should contact their private health care provider’s office.