Monoclonal Antibodies: A Carilion Q&A

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By News Team on September 10, 2021

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in our region and in our hospitals continue to rise. Thankfully, we have a treatment available to help combat acute illness from COVID-19. 

Dorothy Garner, M.D., interim chief of Infectious Diseases at Carilion Clinic, sat down to answer common questions about monoclonal antibody treatment.

"Monoclonal antibodies are therapeutics that have been developed in the laboratory to respond to different parts of your body's defense system—or foreign invaders like the coronavirus," she said.

As she explained it, the treatment is an infusion given intravenously (by IV) over 30 minutes.

"The monoclonal antibodies bind to the spike proteins on the coronavirus surface so it cannot bind to your cells," she said, "and your body can clear the virus more rapidly.

The treatment reduces the likelihood of hospitalization from COVID-19 by 70-85% if used early in the course of infection in COVID-19 patients. 

Currently, there are three monoclonal antibody treatments that are approved for treating COVID-19:asirivimab (imdevimab), Bamlanivimab (etesevimab), and Sotrovimab.

Hear more from Dr. Garner by watching the video above or by choosing any of the questions below to skip to the information you're seeking. 

What are monoclonal antibodies? (0:02)

How long have monoclonal antibody treatments been used in medicine, and for what kinds of conditions? (0:35)

How does monoclonal antibody treatment work? (1:29)

Which monoclonal antibody treatments are used to treat COVID-19? (2:08)

Who can benefit from the treatment? (2:44)

Who is currently eligible to receive it? (3:18)

Why is it important to get tested early if you’re interested in this treatment? (5:27)

Are the treatments safe? (6:02)

Are there any side effects of the treatment? (6:53)

How long does an infusion take, and how many infusions do people with COVID-19 need? (7:37)

Where can you get the infusions? (8:05)

How much does it cost? (8:44)

How can I access the treatment if I think I’m eligible? (9:21)

Where can I find more information? (11:13)

For more information, please reach out to your primary care provider or visit:

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CarilionClinic.org/safe | CarilionClinic.org/coronavirus | CarilionClinic.org/covid-19-vaccine
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