What You Need to Know About Approved COVID-19 Medications

two-doctors-in-protective-gowns-masks-and-goggles-looking-at-clipboard-outside-coronavirus-ward

With the arrival of COVID-19, hospitals and medical offices have seen an influx of patients. Medical administrators have also had to implement new policies and procedures to keep track of COVID-19 cases, protect doctors and nurses, and safeguard their patients as much as possible. For this reason, it is important to learn about the different COVID-19 medications that are being used today, and how they work to fight the infection.

Approved COVID-19 Medications

The following is a list of six medications that have all been approved to treat COVID-19. Each medication, however, is used to treat patients under specific circumstances. Let’s take a look at each of these medications, and how they are being used to treat COVID-19.

Remdesivir

You may have heard about remdesivir on the news. This antiviral drug has been used to treat malaria for years. Now, it is being used as a successful treatment for COVID-19, primarily for patients on supplemental oxygen. It interrupts the production of the COVID-19 virus and shortens the overall duration.

Baricitinib

When used in conjunction with remdesivir, baricitinib from Eli Lilly shortens the lifespan of COVID-19. Barcitinib was originally created to treat moderate-to-severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It blocks enzymes that cause inflammation and is only being used to treat patients receiving oxygen. It does not appear to be a successful treatment unless it is used in conjunction with remdesivir.

Dexamethasone

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that has been around for many years. It treats inflammation and acts as an immunosuppressant. This COVID-19 medication can potentially reduce mortality rates associated with the COVID-19. It mitigates the impact of the virus on the lungs and has led to lower mortality rates.

Convalescent Plasma

Many people who have recovered from COVID-19 have donated plasma. This is because their recovered plasma can be used to help other patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It can both shorten the duration and lessen the severity of the virus by boosting the body’s immune response. The infusion takes about two hours and patients need to be closely monitored afterward.

ExoFlo

If you know someone who has acute respiratory distress, ExoFlo could be the answer. It is created from human bone marrow stem cells and triggers the body to reduce inflammation. This, in turn, helps the body begin to heal itself. It has been shown to reduce the mortality rate for patients with respiratory complications.

Monoclonal Antibodies

These antibodies fight COVID-19 by clinging to the virus and destroying it. It is commonly referred to as the Regeneron antibody cocktail, although both Eli Lilly and Regeneron currently make the antibodies that are being used as treatment. It is not recommended for patients who are receiving supplemental oxygen or are on a ventilator, as their condition could worsen.

More is being learned about COVID-19 medications every day, and as a result, we are seeing more medical breakthroughs. Promote healthy habits such as hand washing and social distancing. If you know someone who has COVID-19, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, encourage them to seek medical advice, because there are multiple treatment options available.

Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog to stay up-to-date on everything in healthcare. If you are considering a career in healthcare, you need to know how to build your medical terminology skill set. Go to Avidity Medical Design Academy. Enroll in the course entitled, “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living)” to learn how to learn new medical terms and use them in your career, as well as in everyday living.

Vaccine 101: How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Your Body

Side view shot of male nurse wearing protective mask and gloves preparing medical syringe for giving COVID-19 vaccine injection to senior patient

COVID-19 vaccines have gone through numerous tests, with Russia being the first nation in the world to register such a vaccine. Russia’s president approved the Sputnik V vaccine after yielding positive clinical trial results in the early stages. Currently, mRNA, protein subunit, and vector vaccines are going through phase 3 clinical trials on a large scale in the U.S. 

To understand how the COVID-19 vaccine works in your body, you need to know how your immune system fights the virus.

How Your Immune System Works: Your Body’s Defense

When your body gets an infection from a virus, your immune system fights that infection. Blood has two types of cells – red cells and white cells. Red cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body. White blood cells fight infections. Here are three different types of white blood cells and how they fight infections in your body.

• Macrophages 

They swallow and digest dead cells and germs, but leave parts of the germs called antigens. Your body will identify antigens as dangerous to the body and stimulate antibodies that will attack them.

• B-lymphocytes

These are white blood cells that produce antibodies that attack any pieces of the virus that macrophages leave behind.

• T-lymphocytes

This is another type of white blood cell. They attack infected cells in your body.

How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Your Body

These three types of vaccines will prompt your body so that it recognizes and protects you from the COVID-19 virus.

• mRNA Vaccine

This type of vaccine has material from the COVID-19 virus that instructs your cells to make a unique, harmless protein. Your body will realize that the protein is a foreign substance and will build T-Lymphocytes and B-Lymphocytes. These cells will remember how to destroy and fight the virus in case of future infections.

• Protein Subunit

A protein subunit vaccine carries a harmless protein of the virus. The vaccine recognizes that the protein is foreign to your body and begins to make T-lymphocytes and antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus in future infections.

• Vector Vaccine

This vaccine contains a live virus that is a weak version of COVID-19. Once the vaccine is injected inside your body, it causes your body to remember how to fight the COVID-19 virus in case of future infections.

Vaccination is one of the ways you can protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine will work with your immune system to fight this virus. If you want to learn more about preventing diseases in your body, enroll in the course entitled “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy

The Latest Trends in Cancer Treatment for 2014: Targeted Cancer Drugs

the latest trends in cancer treatment 2014One of the latest trends in cancer treatment for 2014 is the use of targeted drugs that attack the genetic “on switch” for cancer. According to recent story on CBS News, one of these new approaches to fighting cancer is a type of targeted cancer therapy that could one day eliminate conventional chemotherapy as we know it.

Chemotherapy, as it is currently practiced, involves delivering powerful cancer-fighting drugs intravenously to the site of a tumor. While this type of treatment can reduce or even eliminate a tumor, it also wreaks havoc on surrounding healthy tissue. This makes cancer patients ill and weak. Conventional chemotherapy is like World War II era carpet bombing: a powerful attack but with a lot of collateral damage remaining.

Targeted drugs are more like smart bombs. A recent research project describes a new treatment that uses the tumors own genetic sequence to attack it. Researchers sequenced 10 genes in lung cancer patients and in two thirds of them found the “on switch” that causes cancers to manifest and grow. The new drug, an oral medication that is selected according to the results of the genetic sequencing of the tumors, turns that switch to “off,” keeping the cancer under control for a significant period of time.

Targeted drugs that attack the genetic “on switch” for cancer do not currently represent a cure for cancer. What they may do, however, is to turn cancer into a chronic disease, rather than a fatal disease. Although there may still be some adverse health effects, these drugs may keep the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading to other areas of the body, thereby allowing patients to live longer and healthier lives. Targeted drugs may hopefully work for many different types of cancer, and may buy patients enough time to allow real cures to come through the pipeline.

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