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.
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.
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.
Remdesivir is used for treating conditions such as:
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
Consult your physician for more information.
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.
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.
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:
Remdesivir for injection is available as 100 mg lyophilized powder in a vial, which needs to be mixed with sterile water for injection prior to diluting in a 100 mL or 250 mL 0.9% Sodium Chloride infusion bag.
Remdesivir injection is available as 100 mg/20 mL solution in a vial, which must be diluted in a 250 mL 0.9% sodium chloride solution.
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:
Dizziness on standing up after the infusion.
Nausea and vomiting.
Fast or slow heartbeat.
Swelling of the face, lips, eyes, or tongue.
For knowledge, you can ask the information or details about the medication from the healthcare provider.
Recommended Dilution Instructions- Reconstituted Remdesivir for Injection Lyophilized Powder
Recommended Dilution Instructions- Remdesivir Injection (Supplied as Solution in a vial)
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.
Ask the healthcare provider about the ingredients of the medication. Check if you are allergic to any of the ingredients of Remdesivir. If so, please do inform the healthcare provider before getting injected.
Inform the healthcare provider about the medications, vitamin supplements, nutritional supplements, or any other herbal supplements you are taking or planning to take. You should be sure to inform if you are taking Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine so that the healthcare provider may change the dosage. Hence you will not end up taking an overdose.
Inform your healthcare provider if you have or had kidney or liver disease.
Do inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or planning to get pregnant.
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.
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.
The side effects most commonly experienced after infusion are the following:
Nausea and vomiting.
Increase in the levels of liver enzymes.
There are also some uncommon and rare side effects like:
The healthcare provider should monitor for the side effects during and after the infusion.
The ingredients are Remdesivir and Betadex Sulfobutyl ether sodium.
It may also include either Hydrochloric acid or Sodium hydroxide for pH adjustment.
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.
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.
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.
The commonly experienced side effects are the following:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Low blood pressure.
The blood reports may show an increase in the levels of liver enzymes.
- There are a few rarely seen side effects, and they are:
- Slow heartbeat.
- Difficulty breathing.
The healthcare provider should monitor for the side effects during and after administration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remdesivir comes in the name of Veklury.
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
Query: Hello doctor, I am writing about my brother. He is 41 years old and was positive for COVID-19 four weeks ago. He had mild symptoms and treated at home. I send you the blood test he did yesterday. Could you please advise? Which treatment should he take? Read Full »
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