What Lymphoma Patients Need to Know About Current Treatments for COVID-19
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As of mid-2022, there are a number of treatments for COVID-19 that have been either approved by the FDA or have been authorized for emergency use (EUA). If you contract COVID-19, please discuss with your doctor which of the following treatments may be the best for you:
The FDA has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (28 days of age and older and weighing at least 3 kilograms) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, who are: hospitalized, or not hospitalized and have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.
The FDA has also approved the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor Olumiant (baricitinib) for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Treatments with an EUA include:
- Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir) — an antiviral medication that is taken by mouth (as a pill) to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. It must be given within 5 days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear. Paxlovid is for adults and children who are 12 years of age and older, weighing at least 88 pounds. It may be prescribed by state-licensed pharmacists to eligible patients, with certain limitations.
- Lagevrio (molnupiravir) — an antiviral medication that is taken by mouth (as a pill) to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19. It must be given within 5 days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear. Lagevrio is for adults 18 years and older. Lagevrio is not recommended during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
- Actemra (tolcilizumab) — a monoclonal antibody treatment for adults and children (2 years of age and older) who are receiving corticosteroids and who require supplemental oxygen, a ventilator, or ECMO. Actemra may decrease the risk of death for people in the hospital with COVID-19.
- Bebtelovimab — a monoclonal antibody for adults and children 12 years or older (weighing at least 88 pounds) who have tested positive for COVID-19, have mild to moderate symptoms, are not in the hospital, and are at high risk for serious COVID-19. Bebtelovimab must be given within 7 days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appear. This treatment can be used when other COVID-19 treatment options approved or authorized by the FDA are unavailable or not clinically appropriate.
A variety of other treatments are being investigated in clinical trials to treat COVID-19. Please note that some treatments may not be effective for certain COVID-19 variants and subvariants, so be sure to confirm with your healthcare provider which ones may be appropriate for you if needed.
The LRF Helpline is available to help patients and their loved ones better understand their lymphoma diagnosis and information related to COVID-19. Feel free to contact the LRF Helpline with any of your lymphoma-related questions, Monday through Friday from 9:30am – 7:30pm Eastern Standard Time (ET). Call (800) 500-9976 or email at email@example.com.