Anvisa approves emergency use of antibodies to treat covid-19

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) approved, on Tuesday (20), the emergency use of two antibodies to treat patients with covid-19. The cocktail is made up of the monoclonal antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab, which are proteins made in the laboratory and that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight harmful pathogens such as Sars-Cov-2 (coronavirus).

According to the indication of Anvisa, the drug can be used in adult and pediatric patients (from 12 years old) who are with mild and moderate signs of the infectious disease. In addition, another suggestion is that the medication be used in patients who have a high risk of the disease progressing to severe forms, which includes people over 65 years of age or with chronic diseases.

The country’s health authority also stressed that the antibodies do not prevent against covid-19 and will only be administered in a hospital environment. Casirivimab and imdevimab should also not be used in people who are hospitalized or who need high-flow oxygen or mechanical ventilation. The agency pointed out that studies show that the cocktail does not improve the number of people in these states.

The drug will be given by intravenous infusion to patients. Possible side effects include anaphylaxis (acute allergic reaction), fever, chills, hives, itching and flushing.

Anvisa also pointed out that the safety and efficacy of antibodies continue to be evaluated by medical studies.

“This drug becomes the second approved by Anvisa, with specific indications for use against covid-19, reinforcing the therapeutic arsenal made available to society to fight this pandemic, echoing the 5 vaccines already authorized”, said Meiruze Freitas, director Rapporteur of the 6th Extraordinary Public Meeting of the Collegiate Board.

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