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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

COVID-19 Therapeutics for Patients

Treatment Options for Patients with Mild to Moderate Symptoms

Monoclonal antibody therapeutics may keep you out of the hospital if you have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. If you have tested positive for COVID-19,  you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, and you are at risk for developing a severe form of the disease, you may be eligible to receive monoclonal antibody therapeutics. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if these treatments could be right for you.


COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics

Your body naturally produces proteins called antibodies to fight infections such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are antibodies made in a laboratory. They act like natural antibodies to defend against harmful pathogens such as viruses. COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments are different from COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines provide active immunity by triggering your body’s natural immune response. Monoclonal antibody treatments give the body the antibodies it needs to protect itself.


Candidates for Treatment

Casirivimab/imdevimab and Bamlanivimab are COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapeutics that have been granted Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat eligible COVID-19 patients. 

  • Test Positive in Last 10 Days
  • Mild Symptoms
  • At High Risk for Severe Disease
  • COVID-19 Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Individuals
  • 12 Years of Age or Older


Mild to Moderate Symptoms

Mild symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, malaise (feeling unwell), headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of taste and smell. Moderate symptoms may also include shortness of breath. 

Patients who have been hospitalized are not eligible to receive COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments because the treatment has not been shown to benefit hospitalized patients.


People at High Risk for Severe Disease

Only high-risk groups have been authorized for treatment at this time. High-risk individuals include:


doctor-patient


​Anyone who meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Over 65 years old
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Body mass index over 35
  • Immunosuppressive disease
  • Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment

heart


​Anyone who is 55 or older and meets any of the following criteria:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other chronic respiratory disease

lungs


Anyone who is 12-17 years old and meets any of the following criteria:

  • Body mass index in the 85th Percentile or greater for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Congenital or acquired heart disease
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. cerebral palsy)
  • A medical-related technological dependence (e.g. tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation not related to COVID-19)
  • Asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control

 

Getting Treatment

In order to receive a monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatment, you must:

Test Result
doctor referral
map
Step 1
Test Positive for COVID-19
in the last 10 days

Step 2
 Receive a referral from your
healthcare provider
Step 3
Locate an available
infusion location


Patients who have had symptoms for 10 days or less should be referred for treatment by their healthcare providers and directed to available infusion locations.

To help healthcare providers and patients find potential locations for treatment with monoclonal antibody therapeutics, HHS offers a web-based COVID-19 outpatient treatment locator. Currently there are about 3,700 sites where treatments are available.

Discuss monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatment with your licensed health care provider to see if it is the appropriate option for you, based on your symptoms and your health history.


What to Expect

Both casirivimab/imdevimab and bamlanivimab,  treatment will be administered via an intravenous (IV) infusion that lasts just over an hour.

Following the infusion, you will stay for another hour of observation to be sure that you are not having any sort of allergic reaction or side effect. While these reactions are rare, this hour of observation by the medical staff is important. Once it is over, you will be released to go home.

Once treatment is complete, you could still spread the virus. Your healthcare provider will give you instructions, potentially including remaining in isolation for 10 days from the date the symptoms first appeared.


The Cost of Treatment

The federal government is currently distributing monoclonal antibodies treatments at no cost for patients. However, depending on where you receive treatment, there may be some associated costs for administering the treatment. If
you have insurance, these costs may be covered. If you do not have insurance, ask the treatment facility if there will
be costs associated with receiving the treatment. If you are on Medicare, you should not have to pay any costs for
getting the treatment.

  • This page last reviewed: February 23, 2021