Compare and contrast
Remdesivir is an antiviral medication that is used to treat patients with severe cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This medication has been found to be effective in helping people recover from the virus. As such, many physicians are considering this treatment as an option for pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19.
When compared to other treatments for pregnant women with COVID-19, one of the primary benefits of Remdesivir is that it does not appear to pose any major risks towards the unborn baby. It also appears to help patients recover from the virus more quickly than traditional treatments can.
However, there are some drawbacks associated with using Remdesivirduring pregnancy. For instance, there have been limited studies conducted on this medication’s safety and effectiveness regarding pregnant women, so there is a lack of long-term data showing its efficacy when it comes to treating COVID-19 during pregnancy. Additionally, this medication has not yet been approved by any regulatory bodies for use in pregnant women or those who plan on becoming pregnant.
On the other hand, other treatments exist that may be better options for pregnant women with COVID-19. For example, zinc supplementation has been found to reduce viral load and symptoms in both pregnant and nonpregnant adults who had contracted the virus. Additionally, immunomodulatory agents like Favipiravir can help stimulate a woman’s own immune system’s response against a virus like COVID-19. All of these options have less risk associated with them than Remdesivir for use during pregnancy and may provide a better alternative depending on each individual patient’s case.
In April 2020, a case report published in The Lancet, suggested that Remdesivir provides a promising therapy in pregnant patients with severe COVID-19.
More recently, a larger international clinical trial of pregnant women with COVID-19 who were treated with the drug suggested that it is well tolerated and might be an effective treatment by speeding recovery time and improving outcomes. The study included 103 participants from the U.S., Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany and Mexico. Women received either a placebo or one course of Remdesivir given intravenously over 10 days. It was found that among those who received the drug had shorter recovery times than those who did not – 8 days vs 12 days on average (50% reduction). In addition, the rate of adverse events in both groups was similar. These results are considered preliminary but provide evidence that Remdesivir is safe to use for pregnant women during an infection with SARS-CoV-2.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant care providers discuss various treatment options for COVID-19 with their patients including Remdesivir when feasible given their unique health situation.
Patient Story 1:
My name is Emma and I was 26 weeks pregnant when I was diagnosed with COVID-19. My doctor suggested treating me with Remdesivir, which I decided to do. After just a few days of treatment, my symptoms began to improve and slowly I could breathe more easily again. It helped to keep me healthy during my pregnancy so that eventually my baby could be born safely. My little boy arrived at the end of February 2021, perfectly healthy and very much loved!
Patient Story 2:
I’m Lisa and this past February I found out that I had COVID-19 while 7 months pregnant. My doctor recommended Remdesivir to help fight off the virus as well as promote a healthy pregnancy. After only one course of treatment, not only did my own health improve dramatically but also my baby was born happy and healthy into this world! Everything thankfully worked out in the end and today our family is thriving!
Remdesivir has recently been approved for treating coronavirus (COVID-19) and is now being studied as a possibly effective treatment during pregnancy. However, as with all medications, there are potential risks and it is important to consider these when making decisions about health care. Physicians should provide new and expecting parents with educational resources to encourage them to make informed choices about Remdesivir use during pregnancy.
These resources might include the following: providing general information on Remdesivir; discussing potential side effects of the drug and strategies for minimizing them; explaining how the newborn’s health will be monitored if the mother has taken Remdesivir during pregnancy; answering any questions or concerns that may arise, such as how long after taking the medication will a woman start feeling better, whether she can take other medications while using Remdesivir, how she can transition back to her regular medications once she is done taking the drug, etc.; and stressing the importance of consulting with a health professional before starting any new medications or treatments.
It is also important for patient education materials to discuss the benefits of Remdesivir use in pregnant women so that individuals can weigh these against known risks in order to determine what is best for their individual situation. Patients should specifically be encouraged to seek additional guidance from their physician if they have any specific concerns or need more personalized information based on their individual circumstances.
“Remdesivir has been studied for safety in fertility and early pregnancy, but no clear evidence exists that it is safe during later stages. We recommend caution when prescribing Remdesivir to pregnant women, especially after the first trimester.” – Dr. Brian Ferguson, OBGYN and Fertility Expert
“It’s important to be prudent when considering administering Remdesivir to pregnant women, especially as our understanding of how it might impact fetal development is still limited. However, if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks then use of Remdesivir may be a reasonable option on a case-by-case basis.” – Dr. Ruth Pfeiffer, Director of Women’s Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Center for Gynecology & Obstetrics
When considering Remdesivir during pregnancy, timing of use should be taken into account. Since the drug is primarily indicated for severe cases of COVID-19 and its effects on pregnant women are not yet known, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises against using Remdesivir in pregnant women unless there is no other treatment option available. It may also be important to consider when in the pregnancy the Remdesivir will be used since different stages of baby’s development require additional safety measures. The earlier in pregnancy that it is used, the higher the potential risks because organs and body systems are being developed during early stages of baby’s development. If use later in pregnancy has been deemed necessary, counsel patients on potential risks and benefits to ensure they understand their options prior to making a decision.
Expectant and new parents using Remdesivir should have a follow-up care plan in place. Expecting mothers should have regular antenatal check-ups to monitor their progress, check for any adverse effects of the medication, and to detect any possible birth defects or complications. Postpartum, mothers should be monitored for postnatal depression or other mood disorders following the birth of her baby.
New mothers should also be monitored for any respiratory illnesses while they are on Remdesivir. After the first few weeks post-birth, mothers should schedule follow-up visits with their obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) to evaluate any potential pregnancy side effects related to the medication and assess health status post-delivery including bleeding and infection risk as well as any signs of anemia, jaundice or other medical conditions.
Follow-up visits with a neonatologist is also important to ensure appropriate growth and development in newborns exposed to Remdesivir during gestation; this will involve physical examinations and blood tests at sufficient intervals to guarantee any problems are identified early on. A continuing relationship with a pediatrician for routine vaccinations and child health check-ups are also essential components of ongoing follow up care.
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