WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – We have changes in treatment options. With the omicron variant prevalent in Kansas, what are the options for treatment if you get it?
This new variant is changing how the community treats those who have COVID-19, and while two options no longer work for this variant, the good news is there are still four other options available.
“On Monday, we got word from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that they are no longer allowing the use of two of what we call monoclonal antibody treatments,” said Jim Garrelts, the vice president of pharmacy services for Ascension Via Christi.
Those treatments are used for patients who have mild to moderate COVID-19 and are at risk of a severe case. Garrelts said the FDA’s decision is meant to make sure the most effective treatment is available for patients.
“The data shows that neither of those two monoclonal antibodies that were removed was used — neither were effective against omicron,” said Garrelts.
Garrelts said there are still two other monoclonal antibody treatments that are effective in treating omicron. Those treatments are sotrovimab and remdesivir, and both have been useful treatments at Ascension Via Christi. Remdesivir previously was a treatment used only for those who were hospitalized.
“We have seen remdesivir be very effective in the hospitalized patients we usually give it for at least five days sometimes longer if the patient status indicates that and really what it does is just shorten the course of stay hopefully keeps some patients from going on a ventilator,” said Garrelts.
Garrelts said there are also two new antiviral treatments that can be taken orally.
“So they actually stop the omicron virus from reproducing itself in the body and therefore stopping the infection from getting any worse,” said Garrelts.
Garrelts said now that remdesivir could be offered without hospitalization, some patients who were hospitalized could continue treatment at home with visits to a clinic.