The Union Health Ministry on Friday has revised the dosage of the antiviral drug–remdesivir, being administered to hospitalized COVID-19 patients from the earlier six-days to five-day treatment course.
According to the Health Ministry, remdesivir drug is only for restricted emergency use on patients with moderate disease (those on oxygen support). The drug can not be administered to a pregnant or lactating mother and children below the age of 12 years. Also, the drug is not recommended to a patient with severe renal impairment and a high level of liver enzymes.
The Central Health Ministry has issued a fresh clinical management protocol for COVID-19 patients on Friday. In the latest protocol, the ministry has informed the dosage of remdesivir should be– 200 mg IV on day 1 followed by 100 mg IV daily for 4 days (5 days in total). However, in the previous clinical protocol issued on June 13, the Health Ministry stated that the patient has to be administered with 200 mg IV on day 1 followed by 100 mg IV daily for 5 days, that was, 6 days in total.
Further, the use of these drugs is subjected to limited availability in the country as of now. Currently, these drugs should only be used in a defined subgroup of patients.
In the latest protocol, the Ministry has described the use of investigational therapies–Remdesivir, Convalescent plasma, Tocilizumab, and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on coronavirus patients.
The use of anti-malaria drug HCQ has been recommended for early use in the disease course as possible to achieve any meaningful effects and should be avoided in patients with severe disease. However, the use of Tocilizumab drug as an off-label application may be considered in patients with moderate disease with progressively increasing oxygen requirements.