Are there treatments for COVID?

Doctors around the world have been studying ways to treat COVID-19. They have made some progress, including producing several vaccines. Getting vaccinated significantly reduces your risk of getting and spreading COVID. And if you are vaccinated and do happen to get COVID, your risk of being hospitalized or dying is much lower. Doctors agree that prevention is the best medicine.

If you get COVID, there are some treatment options that are safe and effective. Your doctor will explain what options are right for you. But here’s some general information about treatment options.

Monoclonal antibodies

Three monoclonal antibody treatments are available in the US through an emergency use authorization. They are REGEN-COV (casirivimab-imdevimab); sotrovimab; and Bamlanivimab-etesevimab

These medications can only be used within 10 days of the start of COVID symptoms, and only if the symptoms are not severe. These medicines can reduce COVID-related hospitalization and death. They are used for people who are at high risk of getting very sick with COVID, like people older than 65, and those with immunosuppression, obesity, or diabetes. All these treatments are given intravenously, and only to people who are not hospitalized (or hospitalized for something besides COVID who then test positive). 

Treatments for patients hospitalized with COVID can include:

  • Remdesivir (Veklury®) – An antiviral medication that has been used to treat other viruses before COVID.
  • Steroids – Various steroids can keep your immune system from attacking your own body. This can reduce injury to your lungs.
  • Baricitinib and Tocilizumab - Like steroids, these medicines can reduce inflammation and injury to your lungs.
  • Blood thinners - These medications can be used to prevent blood clots, which are common for people with COVID.

As the pandemic continues and we learn more, treatment guidelines will change. The most effective treatment to prevent severe illness and death is getting your COVID vaccine. 

Last Updated: October 15, 2021 9:43pm ET

Review: GHH