Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that stops the coronavirus from replicating.
HOUSTON — There’s a lot of excitement about an experimental COVID-19 drug called remdesivir.
It’s shown encouraging results and many are seeing it as perhaps the first real weapon for treating those who are sick with coronavirus.
One of the sites for the clinical trial is at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.
“I like that this drug actually has activity against the coronavirus, so this is actually an antiviral that stops the coronavirus from replicating,” Dr. Katherine Perez said.
Doctors began using remdesivir early on in the pandemic. They requested it from the manufacturer and eventually enrolled in the clinical trial so the hospital could get more of the drug.
In the trial, about 50 patients have been taking the drug and 30 of them have gotten well enough to go home.
“There’s shortness of breath, some of them still have some cough, but when you ask them how they’re feeling, they’re feeling like a million bucks compared to how they were feeling before,” Perez said.
She said what’s most impressive about remdesivir is that it appears to help patients get well enough to avoid having to get on a ventilator.
Her hope is for the drug to be used along with other treatments.
“To really blast this coronavirus from different angles and get our patients better sooner, so they can go home and be with their loved ones,” she said.
Her wish may be coming true soon. The Food and Drug Administration is considering an emergency approval to make it available to more patients.
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