Covid-19 cases have soared remarkably since the start of the New Year. New cases are being reported every minute in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Kolkata. According to health officials, the emergent Omicron variant has overtaken Delta to become the dominant strain. The good news is even though cases are rising, there is no corresponding rise in hospitalizations yet.
During the two-year-long pandemic, medical practitioners have trialed an array of drugs, medication, and therapy all over the world. Drugs like Ivermectin were most sought after in the first wave. During the second, names like Remdesivir, Fabiflu, Azithromycin, and plasma therapy were doing vigorous rounds. And now, with the third wave hitting us, many are planning to go for Antibody Cocktail/Monoclonal antibodies.
The first thing to understand about these drugs is that we must not plan to self-administer them. Only practicing, licensed doctors should prescribe the medicines based on symptoms and need. Another key point to note and remember is that evidence shows that the monoclonal antibody cocktail drugs available in India are not very effective against Omicron. Accordingly, our leading health experts have ringed a caveat against the use of the drug, as Omicron is fast becoming the dominant variant of coronavirus.
If you want to know about the drug, consult a doctor. Highly skilled general physicians with years of experience are onboard DocGenie. You can book a session with one of our doctors for online consultation. Our doctors can suggest medicines and/or tests online. Take note! The decision to administer drugs should solely come from a specialist.
Origin of Antibody Cocktail/Monoclonal Antibodies
In October 2020, when Donald Trump, the former US President, contracted Covid-19, doctors administered a combination of antibodies to treat him. Last year, India’s Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation permitted emergency use authorization for Regeneron’s Casirivimab and Imdevimab antibody cocktail. According to Regeneron’s partner Roche, the antibody cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab had reduced hospitalization or death by 70% and lessened the duration of symptoms by four days. USA-based Eli Lilly and Company also granted emergency use authorization for its antibody cocktail bamlanivimab and etesevimab, last year.
In our country, the use of antibody cocktail drugs has seen a phenomenal rise in the last six months. The drug was especially used against cases of the Delta variant and is effective as well. But evidence suggests it is not that helpful against Omicron.
If you or any of your family members are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, consult a doctor for timely advice. You can book an online session with one of our doctors on DocGenie’s platform and learn about the next steps from the comfort of your hone.
To understand more about this drug it is important to know how it works. Here are 5 key points about how Monoclonal antibodies work –
- Monoclonal antibodies are proteins made in the laboratory.
- These proteins imitate an antibody to stir up a faster immune response in our body against the coronavirus.
- They are expected to prevent severe diseases.
- Monoclonal antibodies also aim at the spike proteins on the surface of the virus and thwart it from getting inside our cells and multiplying.
- The drug is administered intravenously or subcutaneously through the skin.
- The procedure is a two to the four-hour-long affair.
Why it is not working against Omicron?
According to recent research findings, the Omicron variant has 32 mutations in its spike proteins compared to the original Sars-CoV-2 virus. As a rule, the spike proteins aid the virus in entering the host cell. Sadly, the mutations in spike proteins are empowering the virus to evade an antibody response.
Last December, both Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly have said that they have observed “reduced neutralization activity” against the Omicron variant. That said, current research suggests two antibodies might be effective against the Omicron variant. These are – Sotrovimab and DXP-604. Notably, DXP-604 is currently undergoing clinical trials. Also, neither of them is currently available in India.
It is important to know that doctors are recommending symptomatic treatment of Covid-19 which includes Paracetamol, anti-allergic, steam, and gargles. These are good enough to start the treatment for those without any risk factors. Monoclonal antibody cocktail drugs are particularly only for individuals with high-risk factors like age, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and renal or liver ailments.
Many doctors now fear that as the drug becomes popular, it will be used indiscriminately by patients. This might end up in overdosing and other harmful ramifications. Remember! According to medical practitioners, most Covid-19 cases need symptomatic treatment. You should only administer drugs after your doctor prescribes them.
To make an informed choice consult a doctor on DocGenie today!
DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.