By: Sarfaraz A Lone
Srinagar: Doctors here started using a monoclonal antibody cocktail for quick and effective result in controlling the viral load in mild to moderate covid-19 cases.
Experts describe the cocktail of casirivimab and imdevimab, the two monoclonal antibody drugs, as very effective in treating patients diagnosed to be mild or moderate covid-19 cases.
Principal GMC Srinagar, Dr Samia Rashid, told GNS that in Kashmir Valley it has been so far started in CD hospital here.
Already ten Covid-19 patients have thus far undergone antibody cocktail treatment at CD hospital, one of the exclusive facilities for the management of the covid-19 patients in Valley, with successful outcomes, Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, who is the head of department at Chest Diseases Hospital, Srinagar, told GNS.
“Actually it’s recommended for mild to moderate covid-19 patients who do not need oxygen,” Dr Naveed said when contacted by GNS.
The cocktail drug used at several places across India is said to be effective in reducing requirement for hospitalisation in about 70 per cent of “eligible” patients.
The patients who were started on the cocktail within seven days of having their first symptoms started fast recovering, the experts said.
The cocktail, the experts underlined works best within three days of symptom onset and is effective up to a week from the onset of symptoms.
“It doesn’t allow progression of the disease,” Naveed, leading pulmonologist said. “That’s why it is given to high risk patients only,” he added.
So far 100 vials have been provided to CD hospital, Dr Naveed confirmed. “It is being provided free of costs by the JKMSCL.”
Managing Director Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL), Dr Yashpal Sharma, told GNS that 350 vials have been so far distributed for use in Jammu and Kashmir. The drug cocktail costs around Rs 60 thousand.
The “Emergency Use Authorisation” of cocktail drug has been approved by Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) and is being marketed by the Cipla in India.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses. They are specifically directed against the spike protein of the novel coronavirus.
The cocktail remains efficacious against widest spread variants and reduces the risk of losing its neutralization potency against new emerging variants, the experts say. (GNS)