As more and more people test positive for COVID-19 every day, there is one treatment that could help keep people out of the hospital.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is available at Crestwood Medical Center, along with other hospitals in North Alabama. All you need is a positive COVID-19 test along with a physicians order to get the treatment, and it could keep you out of the hospital.
"It's been, I think tremendous. It has kept many people out of the hospital," says Marshall Robbins, Pharm.D. and director of pharmacy at Crestwood Medical Center.
According to Robbins, monoclonal antibodies are man-made and meant to act like the body's natural antibodies.
"They're made to detect the spike on the virus, and then that keeps it from invading the rest of the body," explains Robbins.
All it takes is a one time IV infusion.
Robbins says, "It's a 30 minute infusion at our infusion clinic, that's how we give it. And there's an hour monitoring after that."
He says patients feel the results in as little as one day.
"Patients who do come in and get the monoclonal antibody do report feeling better 24 to 48 hours after the infusion," says Robbins.
Studies show the antibody is keeping people from getting severely sick. Robbins explains, "the studies show that you have a 70 percent decrease in hospitalization or severe illness if you get the monoclonal antibody."
The treatment is mainly an option for unvaccinated people.
"This is an option again for those who are unvaccinated and show symptoms, typically within 10 days of being diagnosed with the COVID-19," says Robbins.
But doctors say it is not a substitute for the vaccine.
"To be clear, the monoclonal antibody is not a substitute for the vaccination. Everyone, if possible, should get vaccinated for the COVID-19," says Robbins.
He encourages people who test positive for COVID-19 to speak with their physician and see if they're eligible for the monoclonal antibody treatment. Right now, Crestwood Medical Center is treating upwards of twenty people per day.
The monoclonal antibody treatment is currently under emergency use authorization from the FDA.