Monoclonal Antibodies (MAs) for Early Prehospital Treatment of COVID-19
Your health care provider has determined that you or your child may benefit from treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MAs) against COVID-19. This treatment is only offered to certain eligible people who are at risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. These risks include, but may not be limited to:
- Older age (65 years)
- Being overweight
- High blood pressure
- Moderate to severe asthma
- Chronic lung disease
- Cardiovascular disease including congenital heart disease.
- Certain neurologic diseases
- Sickle Cell
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Immunosuppressed or immunodeficient
Why this treatment is being offered: Early treatment with MAs may prevent disease progression in people who have contracted COVID-19. MA treatment may prevent the development of severe breathing problems that could result in the need to stay in the hospital and receive oxygen and advanced therapies to treat COVID-19. The goal of the treatment is to keep you or your child from having to stay in the hospital and allow you to recover at home.
How MAs work: MAs bind to the coronavirus spike protein receptors. This blocks the virus from entering healthy cells, causing injury, disease and forcing cells to make more virus that spreads to and injures other cells.
When treatment with MAs is effective: For MAs to be most effective, they need to be given as early in the course of the disease as possible. During the first 10 days, the virus spreads rapidly through cells. Therefore, treatment with monoclonal antibodies needs to be done as soon as disease is detected. A “wait and see how I feel in a few days” approach is not recommended for you or your child.
Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for MAs: MAs are still considered investigational by the FDA, who has determined that enough evidence of their value has been gathered to authorize their use in recently diagnosed, non-hospitalized, adults and children age 12 and up who are at high risk for severe COVID-19.
How MAs are given: MAs are most commonly given by infusion through an IV.
Side effects of MAs: Side effects are described in the informational EUA form and include allergic reaction, achiness, or headache. Premedication with antihistamines and Tylenol is recommended. Due to the risk of allergic reaction, MAs are administered in a center prepared to handle an emergency. Click the link to review the EUA information form.