Physicians treating President Donald Trump for COVID-19 have administered both dexamethasone and remdesivir. Dexamethasone is a steroid generally reserved for patients with severe cases of the disease, while remdesivir is an antiviral drug said to reduce recovery time in more moderate cases.
Trump and dexamethasone and remdesivir
Dexamethasone is an inexpensive corticosteroid that has been used for 60 years. White House physician Sean Conley stated on Sunday that the President had received the drug.
Conley noted (via CNN), “We decided that in this case the potential benefits early on in the course probably outweighed the risks.” Dexamethasone is usually only given to patients who require supplemental oxygen.
Remdesivir, another drug prescribed to Trump, has been shown in early studies to reduce recovery time in COVID-19 patients. He started on a 5-day course of the drug on Friday, stated Dr. Brian Garibaldi, one of Trump’s medical team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
What does dexamethasone do for COVID-19 patients?
The steroid drug dexamethasone is typically used to treat severe cases of COVID-19. In many serious cases, the immune system overreacts to the coronavirus, and dexamethasone can reduce this overreaction to help treat patients.
In milder cases of the illness, the immune system doesn’t overreact, thus making dexamethasone a less effective treatment.
In June, Motley Fool reported the drug has been used as a treatment for severe cases. It “reduced the risk of death by about a third in patients on ventilators and by about a fifth in less-sick patients who only required oxygen.”
Some physicians have questioned the use of dexamethasone for the President, whose case is reportedly moderate. The National Institutes of Health guidelines state (via CNN): “The Panel recommends against using dexamethasone for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients who do not require supplemental oxygen.”
What does remdesivir do for COVID-19?
Remdesivir was the first therapy drug given emergency authorization for Covid-19 treatment in May in the U.S. As of Aug. 28, it has been approved for all hospitalized cases, no matter their severity (via CNN). It is one of the few drugs cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19 treatment.
Dexamethasone manufacturer stock
Dexamethasone has been prescribed to patients with some types of cancer and inflammatory disorders like asthma, arthritis, and colitis. Mulitple drug makers manufacture generic versions of this drug.
Remdesivir manufacturer stock
Remdesivir is manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD). The Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has given control of the drug’s supply and Gilead can now sell the drug directly to hospitals.
GILD closed Oct. 2 at $62.17 and was $63.83 in premarket trading as of 9:05 a.m. Oct. 5.