Trump may be released from hospital soon, but coronavirus status remains uncertain
White House doctors gave Trump a mix of drugs – including an experimental drug and a steroid drug only given to people with severe COVID-19 – in hopes of relieving his symptoms.
Trump is apparently not receiving hydroxychloroquine, a drug he has widely promoted that has been shown to be ineffective in many studies in preventing or treating the virus.
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Doctors reveal more about Trump’s state with COVID-19
In a media interview on Saturday, the President’s doctor, Cmdr de la Marine. Sean Conley said he was using a “multi-pronged” approach to dealing with Trump.
“He receives all standard care and beyond for routine international COVID protocols,” Conley said. “It’s the president. I didn’t want to hold anything back. If there was a possibility that this would add value to her care and speed her return, I wanted to accept it.
So what are the drugs that doctors gave Trump?
One of Trump’s treating doctors, Dr Brian Garibaldi, said on Sunday that the president was receiving the steroid dexamethasone as part of his COVID-19 treatment in response to his low oxygen levels.
“In response to the transient low oxygen levels… we started treatment with dexamethasone, and he received his first dose yesterday,” Garibaldi said on Sunday.
Dexamethasone is a generic steroid widely used in other diseases to reduce inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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The Infectious Disease Society of America says dexamethasone is beneficial in people with critical or severe COVID-19 who need supplemental oxygen. But studies show that the drug isn’t helpful – and may even be harmful – in people with milder cases of the disease.
The drug was first shown to be useful in June during clinical trials in the UK. Preliminary results of the trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the steroid reduced the risk of death in patients with severe COVID-19 who need supplemental oxygen. But for mild cases, the treatment was harmful, the study showed.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines for the drug state that dexamethasone should only be given to patients on ventilators or in need of supplemental oxygen. The NIH said it recommends using it for people with less serious illnesses because of the potential for harm, as it can suppress the immune system.
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Doctors not involved in Trump’s treatment for COVID-19 said the fact that he started taking dexamethasone was the strongest evidence to date that his case could be serious.
Dr Nicholas Christakis, doctor and sociologist at Yale University, took to Twitter to talk about the drug being administered to Trump
“If POTUS is NOT that sick then starting dexamethasone might actually Harm him,” he tweeted. “If he IS that sick, then using dexamethasone means they’re playing down how sick he is.”
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Dr Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, told CNN that the use of dexamethasone “is scratching our heads” because it is suggested for people with serious illnesses.
“Usually you start dexamethasone when you start to worry that they are heading down the wrong path,” Walenksy said. “So what happened today? Either he’s progressed, or people are like, well, let’s just throw the kitchen sink at him. I don’t see why they would have given this to him if he didn’t need extra oxygen.
Trump received a single dose of an antibody cocktail (REGN-COV2) made by biotechnology company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, according to the White House.
Trump received the investigational drug at the White House on Friday before being taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, officials said.
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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., said the company has agreed to provide a single dose for Trump at the request of its doctor under the “compassionate use” provisions – when an investigational drug is provided on a case-by-case basis. emergency, while studies continue.
“It’s about beating the virus and so we’re just helping the natural immune system beat it, by supplementing it with this cocktail of antibodies,” said Dr. George Yancopoulos, co-founder and president of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
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The experimental therapy combines the use of two monoclonal antibodies, which work to inactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, according to the company.
The new drug is at an advanced stage of testing and its safety and effectiveness are not yet known. Because it is still considered experimental, REGN-COV2 is not yet available to the general public outside of clinical trials.
Trump is taking a five-day course of the antiviral drug remdesivir, a reused antiviral drug, according to his doctors.
“Last night (Trump) received his first dose of IV remdesivir and our plan is to continue a five-day treatment for remdesivir,” Garibaldi told reporters on Saturday.
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The treatment, sold by Gilead Sciences, is intended to shorten the recovery time of patients with coronavirus.
Remdesivir is not officially approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But it has received emergency use authorization, which the FDA grants for the treatment of diseases “where there are no adequate, approved and available alternatives.”
Several clinical trials have shown that patients taking the drug recover faster than those taking a placebo drug.
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At the end of July, Health Canada authorized the use of remdesivir to treat patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19.
The drug is used in patients with severe pneumonia symptoms due to their coronavirus infection and who need extra oxygen to breathe, Health Canada said.
Trump is also taking famotidine, according to the White House. This medication is commonly used to treat stomach ulcers, heartburn, and acid reflux, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is widely sold under the name Pepcid.
Trump’s doctor also announced that the president is taking a vitamin D supplement, aspirin, zinc and melatonin. None of these have been shown to be effective against COVID-19.
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– With files from The Associated Press and Reuters
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