COVID-19 Treatment

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine and practicing layered prevention (such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings, social distancing, staying home when sick, avoiding indoor crowds and frequently washing your hands) is the best way to avoid becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. 

Many people who do become ill with COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms and can recover at home by following symptomatic treatment like getting plenty of rest and fluids and using Tylenol, Ibuprofen, decongestants, and other over-the-counter cold and flu medications to alleviate fever and symptoms. Since COVID-19 can become serious it is important to monitor symptoms carefully. Signs that you may need help from a medical professional include panting or difficulty breathing, difficulty keeping fluids down or urinating, high fever, rapid pulse, a pulse ox below 90, and/or elevated blood pressure. In a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.  

If symptoms worsen, you can also seek care from your primary care provider, physician, or other medical provider. Medical professionals may recommend medication to treat COVID-19. However, medications authorized to treat COVID-19 are in very limited supplies. Getting a vaccine and practicing layered prevention is best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. 

Outpatient (Non-hospitalized) Treatment for COVID-19

About Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies are currently under Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are the only authorized drug to treat COVID-19 in patients who are not hospitalized (outpatients) who are at risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Those who are hospitalized or using oxygen to treat COVID-19 are not eligible to receive monoclonal antibodies. 

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made molecules that act as a substitute for the natural antibodies your own body produces after being vaccinated or after being exposed to COVID-19 and recovering. They are administered either through a single intravenous treatment that takes approximately one hour or through four injections administered during one visit. Both methods are followed by one hour of observation. 

There are three treatments authorized by the FDA: 

  • Bamlanivimab and etesevimab 
  • Regeneron 
  • Sotrovimab 

Who Can Use Monoclonal Antibody Treatments? 

Those who feel they may need monoclonal antibody treatment are highly encouraged to talk to their health care professional. 

Monoclonal antibody treatments are available for patients 12 and older who weigh at least 40 kilograms/88 pounds, test positive for COVID-19 with an onset of symptoms within 10 days, who are not hospitalized, but who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. Individuals must meet screening criteria to be eligible. Find out more at the links below.

Where can I receive Monoclonal Antibody Treatment?

Contact your doctor or health care provider for more information about COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment. You may be eligible for treatment based on your COVID-19 test, onset of symptoms, and medical condition, or based on your exposure risk and vaccination history. 

Your health care provider can assess your symptoms, discuss the benefits and risks of monoclonal antibody treatment, and determine your eligibility to receive it. 

Currently, local providers offering monoclonal antibody treatment to select patients who meet criteria include:  

  • UCHealth 
  • Centura
  • Future Innovative Treatments
  • CDPHE maintains a list of all providers administering monoclonal antibody treatments at covid19.colorado.gov

There is increasing demand for monoclonal antibodies but very limited supplies. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is equalizing distribution across states and plans to distribute doses to public health agencies to distribute to local providers. Bamlanivimab/etesevimab and regeneron are free for recipients, while storovimab is covered by Medicaid, Medicare and many health insurance plans. 

NOTICE: While the medication itself, as noted above, is provided without cost to the consumer through the Federal Governments purchase,  there may fees incurred for the provider resources and facility. Please discuss your insurance and billing details with your selected provider.

Are there other treatments for outpatient COVID-19?

No.

Monoclonal antibodies are the only treatment authorized by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in an outpatient (non-hospitalized) setting though trials for other treatments are underway.

ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT TREATMENTS FOR COVID-19 AND MAY ENDANGER YOUR HEALTH!

• Ivermectin: Ivermectin isn't a drug for treating viruses and the FDA has NOT approved this drug to treat or prevent COVID-19. Taking large doses of this drug can lead to serious harm. Please do not use drugs intended for animals.

• Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine: These malaria drugs were authorized for emergency used by the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the FDA withdrew that authorization when data analysis showed that the drugs are not effective for treating COVID-19. They can also cause serious heart problems.

Inpatient (Hospitalized) Treatment for COVID-19

About Convalescent Plasma

Convalescent Plasma is antibodies derived from those who previously had a COVID-19 infection. It can be used for both mild-moderate and severe infections in hospitalized patients. Unfortunately, it has been shown to have little benefit to patients in the most recent studies and is rarely used.

About Remdesivir

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that is available for adult and some pediatric hospitalized COVID-19 patients. It is delivered exclusively by IV.

About Dexamethasone

Dexamethasone is a steroid used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients who require increasing amounts of supplemental oxygen and who are showing widespread inflammation. It is often used in combination with Remdesivir.

About Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants are used in hospitalized COVID-19 patients on a case-by-case basis to prevent blood clots from forming. Because anticoagulants can allow excess bleeding in patients, doctors must carefully weigh the risk of using this class of drugs.