you are unvaccinated or are taking medications that suppress your immune system, your body may not be well protected from COVID-19.
Your doctor may offer medications to treat mild-to-moderate symptoms of COVID-19 which are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalisation and death. There are two of such medications that are offered in Singapore at the moment – Sotrovimab and Casirivimab/Imdevimab (Regen-COV).
1. How will I know if I need this medication?
Your doctor will decide on the appropriate treatment that is best suited for you after reviewing your medical condition. Sometimes, you may need blood tests to determine whether you need this medication.
2. How effective is this medication?
Both medications have shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID by 70-80%.
3. How is the medication given?
The medications are given as a single dose. This can be done at home by the COVID Virtual Ward nurses. In some cases, we may recommend for you to be transferred back to a hospital or community treatment facility to receive the medication.
- Sotrovimab is given through the vein as a single-dose intravenous infusion.
- An intravenous cannula will be inserted prior to the infusion.
- The drip medication will typically last for 30 minutes.
- You will be closely monitored for the next 60 minutes after the infusion completes.
- After that, the intravenous cannula can be removed.
- This is only effective if given within the first 5 days since your symptoms started.
- Regen-COV is generally given as single-dose subcutaneous injection (just under the skin).
- Four injections are required and will be injected under the skin at different body parts, one after another.
- You will be closely monitored for the next 60 minutes after the injections.
- This is only effective if given within the first 7-10 days since your symptoms started.
4. What are the side effects of this medication?
It is expected to have some fever in the first 1-2 days after the infusion but it should subside with paracetamol. Less common side effects include diarrhoea (2%), skin rash/itch (1%), infusion reactions (1%), allergic reactions (e.g. hives, eye swelling, severe allergies such as anaphylaxis or a low blood pressure from allergy (<1%)).
The most common side effects are redness or itch around the injection sites (up to 10%). Less common side effects include nausea/vomiting (1%), allergic reactions (e.g. hives, eye swelling, severe allergies such as anaphylaxis or a low blood pressure from allergy (<1%)). It is expected to have some fever in the first 1-2 days after the infusion but it should subside with paracetamol.
These are not all the possible side effects of the medications. Serious and unexpected side effects may happen. As these medications are still being studied, it is possible that all of the risks are not known at this time. Do talk to the care team if you have any questions.
5. How do I report side effects of these medications?
Tell the care team right away if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
6. What are the alternatives to this medication?
It is your choice to be treated or not to be treated with antibodies. Should you decide not to receive the medication, or stop it at any time, it will not change your standard medical care.
The alternative would be not to administer the medication, and to monitor closely if your COVID condition worsens.