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Remdesivir - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

Published on May 05, 2021 and last reviewed on Jul 07, 2022   -  5 min read

Abstract

Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral medication approved for COVID-19 treatment. To know about the uses, dosage, side effects, and contraindications, have a look at this article.

Contents
Remdesivir - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

Overview:

Remdesivir belongs to the group of antiviral medications. It was first developed to treat Hepatitis C, and later it was used to treat the most infectious Ebola virus in 2014. It was developed by a US-based Biotechnology Company. It was also used for treating middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). It is also used to treat influenza, flu, etc. According to the WHO health experts, Remdesivir is one of the medications that shows some significant effects in treating COVID-19 hospitalized patients.

Drug group:

Remdesivir belongs to the class of broad-spectrum antiviral medications. Broad-spectrum antiviral medications are effective against a wide range of viruses. The other antiviral drugs are Vidarabine, Acyclovir, Ganciclovir, Zidovudine, Lamivudine, Ribavirin, Interferons, etc.

What Is Remdesivir Used For?

Remdesivir is used for treating conditions such as:

Consult your physician for more information.

How Does Remdesivir Work?

Remdesivir is an antiviral medication. It is a nucleotide analog. Usually, when a virus enters the body, the RNA polymerase helps the virus to replicate. In that case, when Remdesivir medication is given, it inhibits the action of RNA polymerase. However, as the drug gets incorporated into the RNA, additional nucleotides cannot get added up. Hence it ends up terminating the RNA transcription process.

How Does Remdesivir Work Against COVID-19?

Coronaviruses have single-stranded RNA. When this novel coronavirus enters a human cell, it starts to replicate with the help of an enzyme RdRP. Remdesivir acts by inhibiting the enzyme RdRP. Studies say that it is one of the most significant medications for treating COVID-19. It is used to treat COVID-19 affected hospitalized patients. The uses and effects of the medication may vary from person to person.

How Is Remdesivir Given?

Remdesivir must be administered under the supervision of a healthcare provider. It must be given through intravenous infusion only and it does not get administered by any other route. It is usually administered once daily for 5 to 10 days. The treatment may vary from person to person. It depends on how well your body responds to the medication. Remdesivir medication is available in two dosage forms:

Any parenteral drug products should be monitored for any discoloration prior to the administration. The vial has to be discarded if any discoloration is noted.

Do not administer any other medications along with this Remdesivir injection. Usually, Remdesivir injection is infused intravenously for over 30 to 120 minutes.

Remdesivir injection can cause allergic reactions during and after infusion. The healthcare provider will monitor you carefully. Inform the healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

For knowledge, you can ask the information or details about the medication from the healthcare provider.

Dosage:

Recommended Dilution Instructions- Reconstituted Remdesivir for Injection Lyophilized Powder

Dosage

Recommended Dilution Instructions- Remdesivir Injection (Supplied as Solution in a vial)

Dosage

What Should the Healthcare Provider Do If You Experience Any of the Above Symptoms?

The healthcare provider needs to either stop the infusion or slow down the infusion if you experience any of the above symptoms.

How Is the Combination of Remdesivir And Corticosteroids?

As per the studies, Remdesivir can be effectively used in combination with Dexamethasone for hospitaized Covid-19 patients, especially those affected severely. This combination of drugs provide a clinical benefit. However, studies have also been carried out for combination of Remdisivir with other immunodilators like Baricitinib and Tocilizumab.

What Should You Inform the Healthcare Provider Before Getting Injected With Remdesivir?

What Are the Drug Interactions?

Due to the antagonism observed in cell culture, the use of Remdesivir with Chloroquine phosphate or Hydroxychloroquine sulfate is not recommended.

Drug-drug interaction trials of Remdesivir and other concomitant medications have not been conducted in humans.

Can Remdisivir Be Given in Pregnant Patients?

Although pregnant females were excluded from the clinical trials of Remdisivir treatment in COVID-19 but preliminary results from small studies and case reports have been affirmative. Remdesivir treatment can be given to pregnant patients if indicated.

However, do inform the healthcare provider if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant before getting administered with the injection.

What Are the Warnings and Precautions?

There is no available data on the effects of Remdesivir on milk production.

The safety and effectiveness of Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 have been studied in pediatric patients of 12 years and above and weighing 40 kg and more. Remdisivir was found to be well tolerated by them. However, for infants and neonates of less than 12 years of age and weighing less than 40 kg, there is extremely limited data available.

The clinical reports available have not identified any differences in responses and effectiveness between the elderly and the younger patients. However, in general, caution should be exercised in the administration of Remdesivir and monitoring of elderly patients reflecting any comorbidities such as hepatic, kidney, liver disease, or any other drug therapy.

There is no human experience of acute overdosage with Remdesivir. Treatment of overdosage should consist of general supportive measures, including monitoring of vital signs and observation of the clinical status of the patient.

What Are the Side Effects of Remdesivir?

The side effects most commonly experienced after infusion are the following:

There are also some uncommon and rare side effects like:

The healthcare provider should monitor for the side effects during and after the infusion.

What Is the Trade Name for Remdesivir?

The ingredients are Remdesivir and Betadex Sulfobutyl ether sodium.

It may also include either Hydrochloric acid or Sodium hydroxide for pH adjustment.

Conclusion:

If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, or if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please do inform the healthcare provider. Though Remdesivir was the first drug approved by FDA for treating the SARS- CoV-2 virus, studies are still going on. Enough data is not available for all age groups, and for people under different conditions, so necessary precautions should be followed.

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

For What Purpose Is Remdesivir Used For?

Remdesivir, an antiviral medication, is used to treat viral infections. It was first developed to treat Hepatitis C, and later it was used to treat the Ebola virus. It is the first FDA-approved drug to treat COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

2.

How Is Remdesivir Given?

Remdesivir is administered only by a healthcare provider intravenously. It is infused slowly into the vein for over 30 to 120 minutes. It is usually given once a day for 5 to 10 days. The length of the treatment depends on how well your body responds to the treatment.

3.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Remdesivir?

The commonly experienced side effects are the following:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Sweating.
- Low blood pressure.
- Chills.
The blood reports may show an increase in the levels of liver enzymes.
- Rash.
- There are a few rarely seen side effects, and they are:
- Slow heartbeat.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Seizures.
The healthcare provider should monitor for the side effects during and after administration.

4.

What Special Precautions Should I Follow After or Before the Administration of Remdesivir?

Inform the healthcare provider if you are taking any medications or have recently taken them. Do not take Chloroquine or Hydrochloroquine along with Remdesivir.
Certain medications should be taken at least two hours after the administration of Remdesivir as it can affect the way the medication works.
- Inform the healthcare provider if you have any liver disease.
- Inform your healthcare provider if you have any kidney disease.
- Inform if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
- Inform if you are breastfeeding.

5.

Are There Any Dietary Precautions That Should Be Followed After the Administration of Remdesivir?

There are no special dietary requirements after the administration of Remdesivir. If your healthcare provider informs you of anything about the diet, you can follow that, otherwise please follow your normal diet.

6.

What Has To Be Done in the Case of Overdosage?

In case of overdosage with Remdesivir, general supportive measures should be taken, such as monitoring of the vital signs and monitoring the clinical status of the patient. There is no particular medicine to counteract the overdosage of Remdesivir.

7.

What Information Should I Need to Know Before and After the Administration of Remdesivir?

All you need to know about Remdesivir are the ingredients of the medication. See if you are allergic to any of the ingredients of the medication. You should also know how it should be given and what precautions should be taken after and before the administration.

8.

What Are the Trade Names of Remdesivir?

Remdesivir comes in the name of Veklury.

9.

Can Remdesivir Be Given to Pediatric Patients?

Remdesivir is usually recommended for pediatric patients of 12 years and above and weighing above 40 kg.

Last reviewed at:
07 Jul 2022  -  5 min read

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