Remdesivir (Veklury) was the first drug approved by the FDA for treating the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is indicated for treatment of COVID-19 disease in hospitalized adults and children aged 12 years and older who weigh at least 40 kg. The broad-spectrum antiviral is a nucleotide analogue prodrug.Full approval was preceded by the US FDA issuing an EUA (emergency use authorization) on May 1, 2020 to allow prescribing Remdesivir for COVID-19 (confirmed or suspected) in hospitalized adults and children.Upon approval of Remdesivir in adults and adolescents, the EUA was updated to maintain the ability for prescribers to treat paediatric patients weighing 3.5 kg to less than 40 kg or children younger than 12 years who weigh at least 3.5 kg.
How should this medicine be used?
Remdesivir comes as a solution (liquid) and as a powder to be mixed with liquid and infused (injected slowly) into a vein over 30 to 120 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a hospital. It is usually given once daily for 5 to 10 days. The length of your treatment depends on how well your body responds to the medication.
Remdesivir injection may cause serious reactions during and after the infusion of the medication. A doctor or nurse will monitor you carefully while you are receiving the medication. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms during or after the infusion: chills or shivering; nausea; vomiting; sweating; dizziness upon standing up; rash; wheezing or shortness of breath; abnormally fast or slow heartbeat; or swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes. Your doctor may need to slow down your infusion or stop your treatment if you experience these side effects.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
What special precautions should we follow?
Before receiving Remdesivir
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Remdesivir, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Remdesivir injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What special dietary instructions should everyone take?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet: preference home cook food
What side effects can this medication cause?
Remdesivir may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, or swelling near the place where the medication was inject
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those in the HOW section. Call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- Yellow eyes or skin; dark urine; or pain or discomfort in right upper stomach area.
- Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Med Watch Adverse Event Reporting program online.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline. Also, if the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened. Then immediately call emergency services at your doorstep.
What other information should I know?
Further, keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to Remdesivir.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about Remdesivir injection.
Additionally, tt is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. Basically, you should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admit to a hospital. Also, it is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Here is an update as what’s going around for this Remdesivir.
Cipla to price Remdesivir version for COVID-19 under 5,000 rupees
Additionally, Indian drug maker Cipla Ltd will price its generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug Remdesivir for use in COVID-19 patients at less than 5,000 rupees ($66).
Cipla and privately held Indian drug maker Hetero Labs on Sunday gained approval to sell generic versions of Remdesivir in the country. Hetero expects to price a similar 100 milligram dose of the treatment at 5,000 to 6,000 rupees.
Moreover, beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, one of Bangladesh’s largest drug makers, in May 2021 became the first company in the world to introduce a generic variant of Remdesivir.
Reuters exclusively reported that the company was planning to price its version at between 5,000 to 6,000 takas ($59 to $71) per vial.
Remdesivir, intravenously administered in hospitals, is the first treatment to show improvement in COVID-19 trials. It has been approve for emergency use in severely-ill patients in the United States, India and South Korea, and has receive full approval in Japan.