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COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

Due to the increased prevalence of Omicron in the community, we have stopped the use of RegenCov and Bamlanivimab/Etesevimab antibody therapy due to the FDA restrictions as outlined by NCDHHS. Currently we are only providing Sotrovimab antibody therapy medication (when available), which has shown effectiveness against the Omicron variant. Unfortunately, we are also impacted by the national shortage for Sotrovimab, which is limiting how many patients we can treat. Our team is diligently working with suppliers of this medication to make them available to our patients and community at large. However, if you are within 5 days of symptoms developing, please contact us to make an appointment for the oral antiviral pill. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued several Emergency Use Authorizations for the use of anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies .  With the Department of Health and Human Services’ 9th Amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, licensed pharmacists are now authorized to both order and administer monoclonal antibodies as COVID-19 therapeutics for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients.  This therapy has shown to keep patients from potential requirement of hospitalization due to COVID-19 by 87%.

Frequently Asked Questions

While, mAB treatment has significant benefit to patients, it CANNOT be used to substitute a vaccine. Vaccines elicit a broad immune response. COVID-19 Antibody Therapy is only to be used in specific cases. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding either of these options.

Your body naturally makes antibodies to fight infection. However, your body may not have antibodies designed to recognize a novel (or new) virus like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, are made in a laboratory to fight a particular infection—in this case, SARS-CoV-2—and are given to patients directly with an infusion. That’s why mAb treatment may help patients who are at high risk for serious symptoms or having to stay in the hospital.

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.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days, you may be eligible for mAb treatment. Certain treatment options may be given post exposure to unvaccinated patients or vaccinated patients who are immunocompromised or cannot mount a sufficient antibody response. Your healthcare provider may decide whether you do or do not qualify for mAb treatment. There could be several reasons for this. You may not meet all of the eligibility criteria, or you may have an underlying health condition that disqualifies you for mAb treatment.

We provide the mAb treatment here at the pharmacy location. Typically, the treatment is given through an intravenous (IV) infusion, but can also be provided via subcutaneous injection (SQ) depending on the treatment.  The whole process takes about 2 to 3 hours. First, our support staff will conduct a screening; then they start an IV, which delivers the mAbs to your body in just over an hour (may be less depending on the treatment). Afterward, the medical staff will have you stay on-site for another hour to be sure you are not having an allergic reaction or any other side effects. While these reactions are rare, our staff must ensure your safety and observe you for this hour. Then you are able to go home.

Of note, even if you begin to feel better, it is still possible for you to spread the virus for a while. Please consider to follow CDC guidelines and isolate yourself (be alone) until all of these things happen:

  1. At least 10 days have passed since your first symptoms of COVID-19
  2. You haven’t had a fever in at least 24 hours, without taking any medicine that reduces fever
  3. Your other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving

IMPORTANT: Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. They may require you to meet additional conditions due to your personal health history. If for any reason you start to feel worse, seek medical care.

There is no cost to the patient.

  • Patients that have significant symptoms should not use this treatment
  • Common side effects that have been reported are:
    • nausea
    • diarrhea
    • dizziness
    • headache
    • itchiness
    • vomiting
  • Rare severe allergic reactions have been reported in clinical studies
  • Allergic reactions can happen during and after infusion with COVID-19 Antibody Therapy. Contact your medical provider if any of the following signs and symptoms occur:
    • fever
    • chills
    • nausea
    • headache
    • shortness of breath
    • low or high blood pressure
    • rapid or slow heart rate
    • chest discomfort or pain
    • weakness
    • confusion
    • feeling tired
    • wheezing
    • swelling of your lips face, or throat, rash including hives
    • itching
    • muscle aches
    • feeling faint
    • dizziness
    • sweating
  • These reactions may be severe or life threatening.
  • Contact your healthcare provider or seek immediate medical attention if you experience worsening symptoms that are new after infusion, including:
    • fever
    • difficulty breathing
    • rapid or slow heart rate
    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • confusion
  • Patients who have experienced the above events have required hospitalization. It is unknown if these events are related to treatment or are due to the progression of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Antibody Therapy may interfere with how your body’s innate ability can fight off a future infection of COVID-19. Similarly, this therapy may reduce your body’s immune response to a vaccine for COVID-19. Specific studies have not been conducted to address these possible risks.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
  • When receiving an intravenous injection (medicine by a vein), in addition to brief pain, one may experience, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, and possible infection at the infusion site.

For more information or if you have any questions, please call us at 704-537-0909 or email us at wellness@avantpharmacy.com.