Ascent has been approved to provide the “BAM” treatment against Covid-19!
If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 by an rt-PCR test, you may have a new treatment option: Bamlanivimab (bam-la-NIV-i-mab). The research suggests that for certain people, taking this drug may help limit the replication (growth) of virus in the body. This could help symptoms improve quicker, reduce the risk of a life-threatening infection, and reduce hospitalizations. Bamlanivimab is a new drug that is still being studied so scientists still do not know everything about the benefits and risks.
Important facts about Bamlanivimab
Bamlanivimab is an investigational medicine used to treat mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults who weigh at least 88 pounds [40 kg] and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms or the need for hospitalization.
Bamlanivimab has not been approved but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA.
Bamlanivimab is authorized only for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of Bamlanivimab under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
What is Bamlanivimab?
Bamlanivimab, pronounced: (bam” la niv’ i mab)
Bamlanivimab is a neutralizing antibody drug. When there is a virus in your body, like COVID-19, your immune system makes antibodies to fight it off. It takes time for your body to make antibodies for a new virus — and in the meantime, you could get very sick.
Bamlanivimab contains man-made antibodies that are like the antibodies of patients who recovered from COVID-19. Scientists think that these antibodies may help limit the amount of virus in your body. This could give your body more time to learn how to make its own antibodies. Bamlanivimab does not have any COVID-19 virus in it.
In a clinical trial, scientists found that Bamlanivimab may limit the amount of virus in the body for people with COVID-19 who take the drug within 10 days of symptoms starting. They may also be less likely to need to go to the hospital.
Who qualifies for this drug?
Bamlanivimab is a treatment option at Ascent for patients age 18 or older who tested positive for COVID-19 by rt-PCR test, have had mild to moderate symptoms for 10 days or less, and are at high risk to get very sick from COVID-19.
For adults weighing at least 88 pounds [40 kg], Bamlanivimab may be an option if you meet any one of the following criteria:
-Are age 65 or older
-Has obesity, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher
-Has diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or a condition that weakens the immune system
-Take medication that weakens the immune system
-Has sickle cell disease
-Has a developmental condition, like cerebral palsy
-Has asthma or a long-term lung disease that requires daily medication for control
-Regularly uses medical technology, like a ventilator or feeding tube
Adults also qualify for Bamlanivimab if they are age 55 or older AND have at least one of the following:
-High blood pressure
-Long-term lung disease
This drug is not for people who are already in the hospital because of COVID-19.
Possible side effects of Bamlanivimab are:
Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions can happen during and after infusion with Bamlanivimab. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following signs and symptoms of allergic reactions: fever, chills, nausea, headache, shortness of breath, low or high blood pressure, rapid or slow heart rate, chest discomfort or pain, weakness, confusion, feeling tired, wheezing, swelling of your lips, face, or throat, rash including hives, itching, muscle aches, dizziness, and sweating. These reactions may be severe or life threatening.
These are not all the possible side effects of Bamlanivimab. Not a lot of people have been given Bamlanivimab. Serious and unexpected side effects may happen. Bamlanivimab is still being studied so it is possible that additional risks are not known at this time.
It is possible that Bamlanivimab could interfere with your body’s own ability to fight off a future infection of SARS-CoV-2. Similarly, Bamlanivimab may reduce your body’s immune response to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2. Specific studies have not been conducted to address these possible risks. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.