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Why is this medication prescribed?
Remdesivir injection is used to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 infection) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in hospitalized adults and children 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg). Remdesivir injection is also used to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 infection) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in non-hospitalized adults and children 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg) who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. Remdesivir is in a class of medications called antivirals. It works by stopping the virus from spreading in the body.
How should this medicine be used?
Remdesivir comes as a solution (liquid) and as a powder to be mixed with liquid and infused (injected slowly) into a vein over 30 to 120 minutes by a doctor or nurse in a hospital. For hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, it is usually given once daily for 5 to 10 days. The length of your treatment depends on how well your body responds to the medication. For non-hospitalized mild to moderate COVID-19, it is started within 7 days of first symptoms and given once daily for 3 days.
Remdesivir injection may cause serious reactions during and after the infusion of the medication. A doctor or nurse will monitor you carefully while you are receiving the medication. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms during or after the infusion: chills or shivering; nausea; vomiting; sweating; dizziness upon standing up; rash; wheezing or shortness of breath; abnormally fast or slow heartbeat; or swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes. Your doctor may need to slow down your infusion or stop your treatment if you experience these side effects.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
The FDA has approved an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow children weighing 8 pounds (3.5 kg) to less than 88 pounds (40 kg) or children less than 12 years of age weighing at least 8 pounds (3.5 kg) who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19 or non-hospitalized with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at risk of progression to severe disease to receive remdesivir.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving remdesivir,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to remdesivir, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in remdesivir injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Remdesivir may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, or swelling near the place where the medication was injected
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those in the HOW section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- Yellow eyes or skin; dark urine; or pain or discomfort in right upper stomach area
Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to remdesivir.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about remdesivir injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.