I am once again going to interrupt my regularly scheduled Medication Monday to talk about possible COVID medications as opposed to mental health medications. I do this because COVID-19 is kicking up a lot of added anxiety for a lot of people. Talking about the facts has always helped reduce anxiety for me, so I figured it might help other people as well. So here goes…
This week I am going to talk about Remdesivir, a drug you’ve probably heard a lot about over the last few days, but might not know much more than the name. So first of all, what is Remdesivir? Remdesivir is an antiviral medication currently being studied as a possible treatment to ease symptoms from COVID-19. That is the first distinction to make from what you might hear out there, which is that Remdesivir is not, I repeat not, a cure, but rather something that may allow doctors to ease some of the symptoms of COVID.
Put another way, Remdesiver, when given as for “compassionate use” to patients with COVID-19, led to a clinical improvement in roughly two-thirds of patients. Judging by that number alone, it is important to further note that not only is Remdesivir not a cure, it is also not 100 percent effective.
Some critics also suggest that it is not as promising as some are saying, given less than awesome results from a recent Chinese study. However, researchers are more encouraged by U.S. studies than the Chinese one given the statistical significance of the number of participants in the two studies.
So, where does that leave us? It leaves us with the fact that while Remdesivir does seem to be promising, but it is far from certain. We cannot count on it as a cure, nor is it even 100 percent effective. Instead, the best thing you can do is continue to stay home if possible, wash your hands, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.