Treatment

Treatment for COVID-19

Most people with illnesses caused by coronaviruses like COVID-19 will recover on their own. However, there are some things you can do to relieve your symptoms, including:

  • Taking pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children).
  • Using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to ease a sore throat and cough.
  • Drinking plenty of liquids and stay home and rest.

Follow instructions from your local health department and health care provider for appropriate care.

Monoclonal Antibodies

>> Español: Anticuerpos monoclonales para el tratamiento de COVID-19

While vaccines provide the best protection from COVID-19, treatment options such as Monoclonal Antibodies are available if you have had symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days or less or have been exposed to COVID-19. If taken early, they can reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccines are the best protection from COVID-19 related hospitalization and death, as well as complications from the virus and the vast majority of people in the hospital or dying with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Research has shown even people who had a mild case of COVID-19 may struggle with long-term effects like shortness of breath, chest pain and brain fog.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for three monoclonal antibody therapies for treatment of COVID-19 in certain high-risk individuals. Monoclonal antibody therapies work directly to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the body and may decrease the incidence of emergency department visits and hospitalizations in patients at greatest risk for progression to severe disease.

Your body naturally makes antibodies to fight infection. However, your body may not have antibodies designed to recognize a 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, the virus that causes COVID-19—and are given to patients directly with an infusion or a shot.

Some early evidence suggests that mAb treatment can reduce the amount of the virus, or viral load, that causes COVID-19 in a person’s body. Having a lower viral load means you may have milder symptoms, which decreases the likelihood of hospitalization. This treatment may help people who:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms for 10 days or less, and
  • Are at high risk of getting more serious symptoms.

Monoclonal Antibodies Treatment Providers

The following Monoclonal Antibodies treatment providers are located in southeastern NC. Contact these providers first before you arrive to inquire about appointments and eligibility.

Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center
240 Hospital Drive
Bolivia, NC

New Hanover Regional Medical Center
2131 S. 17th Street
Wilmington, NC

Cape Fear Clinic
1605 Doctor’s Circle
Wilmington, NC

Intracoastal Internal Medicine
2580 Pickard Road
Wilmington, NC

Infusion Center – Wilmington Health
1802 S. 17th Street
Wilmington, NC

The federal government is providing monoclonal antibody therapy at no cost to patients. However, health care providers may charge an administration fee for treatment. Medicare and many commercial insurance companies are covering all costs for patients. Check with your health plan to learn more about treatment costs.

Ask your doctor about Monoclonal Antibodies or call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish).

Click the button below to find a full list of providers in your area on the National Infusion Center Association website.

Under the EUA, eligible patients include adult and pediatric outpatients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with mild to moderate COVID-19, considered to be at high-risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization due to age, elevated BMI, or specified chronic conditions.  Administered as a single IV infusion, followed by one hour of observation, these monoclonal antibody therapies should be administered as soon as possible following a positive COVID test result and within 10 days of symptom onset.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge across North Carolina, the use of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of COVID-19 increased by 18-fold since late June from 100 administrations for the week of June 23 to 1,874 for the week of Aug. 11. Statewide, there are more than 130 sites offering monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 as this treatment can decrease the likelihood of hospitalization related to COVID-19.

A full list of providers in your area can be found here: National Infusion Center Association

Ask your doctor about Monoclonal Antibodies or call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish).

Clinical Trials

Additional medications and treatments for COVID-19 are being investigated, including through clinical trials in North Carolina and across the nation. A clinical trial is a type of research study used to test if a drug or medical device is both safe and effective for human use. Registered trials for drugs being studied for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

To find clinical trials happening specifically in NC, you may specify your search through ClinicalTrials.gov by location. Additionally, many academic medical centers update clinical trials occurring at their institutions on their respective websites.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What treatments are available?

What treatments are available?

If you have had symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days or less or have been exposed to COVID-19, treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies are available. If received early, monoclonal antibodies may reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Ask your doctor about treatment with monoclonal antibodies or call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish).

For patients with more severe COVID-19, hospitals can provide care. Veklury® (Remdesivir) is FDA approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 40 kg.

There is more to be learned about COVID-19 as the situation continues to evolve, and treatment options may change over time. Learn more from the CDC.

Is a vaccine available?

Is a vaccine available?

Yes. Three vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) have proven to provide significant protection against COVID-19 and protect against virus-related hospitalization and death, with no serious safety concerns in the clinical trials.

Visit the webpage on vaccines for the latest information.

What is hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and does it treat COVID-19?

What is hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and does it treat COVID-19?

Hydroxychloroquine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as treat or prevent malaria. On June 15, 2020, the U.S Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate to treat COVID-19.

According to this latest information, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that hydroxychloroquine warrants revocation of the emergency use authorization, due to ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other serious side effects. Read the press release.

What other medications are being tested to treat COVID-19?

What other medications are being tested to treat COVID-19?

Many medications are being tested to treat or prevent COVID-19, but no medication is currently approved by the FDA to treat the virus. Many of the medications in testing for COVID-19 are FDA approved to treat serious diseases, such as tuberculosis, HIV infection and autoimmune conditions. It is important that those medications remain available to treat the conditions for which they are FDA approved as their effectiveness for COVID-19 is being assessed. Learn more from the CDC

Are veterinary medications or other products with chloroquine as an active ingredient safe to consume?

Are veterinary medications or other products with chloroquine as an active ingredient safe to consume?

No. People should not take any medications unless they are FDA approved for human consumption and prescribed by their doctor. The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council issued a statement reminding everyone they should never use pet care products, or any products, for any purpose other than what the label directs.

Is there a definition of recovery from COVID-19? If I've had symptoms of COVID-19 when can I end self-isolation?

Is there a definition of recovery from COVID-19? If I’ve had symptoms of COVID-19 when can I end self-isolation?

A standardized definition of recovery from COVID-19 has not yet been established; it is a work in progress in North Carolina and at academic institutions across the country. As with other respiratory illnesses, how long a patient takes to return to feeling “normal” is highly variable and depends on many factors including severity of illness and underlying medical conditions, so a single time period cannot be applied to all people. View the COVID-19 Patients Presumed to be Recovered Report.

It is important to understand the steps to ending self-isolation. Patients who have mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and can recover at home can return to normal activities when they can answer yes to the following three questions:

  • Has it been at least 10 days since your symptoms started?
  • Has it been 24 hours since you last had fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications?
  • Have your symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, improved?

Notably, patients with clinical COVID-19 infection, in general, do NOT need a negative COVID-19 test result to document recovery, if they meet the clinical criteria.

Read the CDC What to do if you are sick and the CDC guidance for ending isolation for more information.

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