It's been around seven months since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. This vicious pandemic has spared none, may it be general masses, celebrities, or global leaders. On 2nd October, the White House announced that the U.S. president Mr. Donald Trump was given an experimental antibody treatment after a test disclosed that he’s infected with coronavirus (SARS CoV-2).
At the time when he was shifted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he allegedly had mild symptoms, including fever and chest congestion. Subsequently, the president’s medical professionals validated that he had begun with a course of an antiviral drug called remdesivir. This drug was proved to be quite effective for several hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
On 4th October, he was provided with a steroid that's usually reserved for severe cases of COVID-19, the medical team revealed. Although the team was optimistic about Mr. Trump's speedy recovery, he also suggested that he may soon get discharged from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
What Is Remdesivir?
Remdesivir is a wide-spectrum antiviral medication developed to debilitate the procedure by which certain viruses create replicas of themselves. It primarily mimics the fundamental components of the genetic material of a virus, Sharon Lewin, an infectious disease expert, and director of the Doherty Institute states.
When the virus tries to replicate itself, it includes the drug in place of the correct fundamental component. This virtually ceases the virus in its tracks. People are given remdesivir intravenously in the hospital. This drug was previously tried in the treatment of Ebola and found ineffective. Researchers began to analyze the drug's effectiveness for the novel coronavirus as it was found helpful in treating SARS and MERS.
Previous trials of the medication in China suggested that it was unsuccessful but were considered indecisive, with investigators concluding their conclusions would demand evidence from larger studies.
In May, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) sanctioned emergency use of remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients after introductory outcomes from the large randomised controlled experiment in the United States disclosed that patients recovered four days faster with this drug than with a placebo. The statistics also demonstrated a likely survival benefit. Other relatively recent investigations have shown mixed results.
In July, remdesivir received interim approval from Australia's TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for use in adults with severe symptoms of COVID-19 as a suitable treatment alternative to minimize hospitalization stay.
Also Read: How Can You Practice Self-care During Self-quarantine?
What Is The Antibody Treatment for COVID-19?
The experimental antibody cocktail, which the U.S. President Mr. Donald Trump received when he tested positive for COVID-19, provides beneficial impacts against the novel coronavirus infection, based on a recent investigation in animal models which offers more disclosures of the clinical capabilities of the treatment.
While the cocktail of two antibodies aiming at the coronavirus spike protein might be used to countervail the pathogen, investigators from the American biotechnology company Regeneron indicated that more investigations in various animal models are required to check the effectiveness of the treatment.
The FDA has not approved this treatment, although Mr. Trump has been granted access to it under compassionate use, allowing him to get it outside of a clinical trial. The medical team of Mr. Trump reached out to a Regeneron spokesperson for the approval to use their monoclonal cocktail, and it was absolved with the FDA.
Other treatments received by Mr. Donald Trump are listed below:
On October 5th, the personal physician of President Trump, revealed that they continue to treat Mr. President with the steroid dexamethasone. This was done in response to his decreasing oxygen levels over a period of time. Based on the National Institutes of Health reports, there's solid evidence relating the use of a corticosteroid called dexamethasone for use in COVID-19 positive patients.
In severe cases, the steroids are thought to combat the haywire inflammation that the novel coronavirus causes. However, in milder cases, one trial revealed no benefit and probably harmed those patients whose oxygen levels are normal.
Conley, Mr. Trump's personal physician, confirmed that the president was provided with supplemental oxygen twice since he had fallen ill and moved to the hospital. Formerly, the same physician stated that he wasn’t sure about whether Mr. President had received supplemental oxygen the second time.
Zinc was given to Mr. Trump as a part of COVID-19 treatment, although it was not the first time he took Zinc. In May, Mr. Trump had told the reporters that he was taking both hydroxychloroquine and Zinc as a precautionary measure. While the doctors were preparing the list of treatments he would receive for his infection, Zinc again showed up in the list. As an over-the-counter supplement, Zinc is contingent upon less regulatory control. Its virus-combating characteristics have shown mixed outcomes in previous studies. William Schaffner, the Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Department of Health Policy, described Zinc, in addition to Vitamin D, as "supportive therapies, the advantages of which are unknown." He said that certain studies suggest that Zinc was useful for treating the common cold, but not in the treatment for COVID-19.
Mr. Trump's medical team also confirmed that he was also taking a vitamin D supplement. Studies demonstrated that deficiency of Vitamin D might increase the risk of death from COVID-19. However, it is also true that most people obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D with sunlight exposure or from the diet. At this moment, we have no evidence suggesting that vitamin D supplements can help ward off COVID-19 related diseases. There’s ongoing research that can offer more clarity to this notion.
Famotidine, the medication sold under the brand name Pepcid, is a popular FDA-approved drug used in the treatment of heartburn. This is not basically a drug used for treating COVID-19 but was given to Mr. Trump to hope for some improvement. Some experimental analyses suggested that Famotidine helped increase the survival rate among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, more research is required to validate the effectiveness of the drug.
Aspirin is available over-the-counter and is used globally in the treatment for COVID-19 - in retaliation to the strange occurrence of clotting and pulmonary embolism occurring in some patients. Aspirin can also be helpful in reducing mild fevers.
Remember, aspirin is not intended to be taken by people who are not in increased risk for COVID-19 or cardiovascular diseases. The experiments revealed that for these categories of people, the risk could outweigh benefits.
Please do not take aspirin without consulting your healthcare specialist as different drugs work differently on different persons.
Henry holds a diploma in Linguistics and is fluent in both, written and verbal Spanish. He is an avid reader and loves to stay updated about the healthcare industry. If you are reading about any major breakthrough in the medical field, know that Henry is the one who brought it to you.