COVID-19 Outpatient Treatment

Updated August 24, 2021

if you recently tested positive for COVID-19, you may be wondering which treatments are safe and effective for preventing severe illness and hospitalization. There are several authorized and approved therapies used to treat COVID-19 patients who have been admitted to the hospital.

For outpatient treatment, monoclonal antibodies, approved under an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are currently the only COVID-19 treatment shown to be safe and effective for patients who are not yet admitted to the hospital. Other therapeutics are being studied; DHSS is following the data and national guidelines closely and will update this webpage as more information becomes available.

On this page:

What are monoclonal antibody treatments?

Monoclonal antibodies support your body’s own antibodies and help your immune system quickly destroy the virus that causes COVID-19 before it harms you or causes hospitalization. If you are 12 and older, you may be eligible regardless of vaccination status. Monoclonal antibody treatments are recommended by the Infectious Disease Society of America and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Talk to your health care provider for more information and referral. If you do not have a health care provider or your provider does not information about this treatment, call the State’s COVID Helpline at 907-646-3322. Ask for an interpreter immediately if you need one.
Factors that may increase your risk for severe COVID-19 illness:

  • Not being fully vaccinated
  • Older age (≥65 years of age)
  • Obesity or being overweight (for example, BMI >25 kg/m2, or if age 12-17, have BMI ≥85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts, https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_ charts.htm)
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Having a weakened immune system from health conditions or medications
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma)
  • Sickle cell disease

I’ve heard ivermectin can be used as a treatment, is that true?

No, ivermectin is not approved or authorized by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. The FDA has issued a warning concerning the possible inappropriate use of ivermectin products (which are intended for animals) as an attempt to self- medicate for the treatment of COVID-19. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) recommends against the use of ivermectin for outpatient or in hospital use.

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic agent that is FDA-approved for some parasitic worm infections and is used off-label for the treatment of many parasitic infections in animals. Although in the lab setting it has some activity against some viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, it has no proven therapeutic utility in well powered clinical trials. In addition, the activity against SARS-CoV-2 seen in lab studies requires concentrations considerably higher than those achieved in human plasma and lung tissue to reach the needed concentrations in the body. Any use of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 should be avoided as its benefits and safety for these purposes have not been established. Data from clinical trials are necessary for us to determine whether ivermectin is safe and effective in treating or preventing COVID-19. Some of the side-effects that may be associated with ivermectin include skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, facial or limb swelling, neurologic adverse events (dizziness, seizures, confusion), sudden drop in blood pressure, severe skin rash potentially requiring hospitalization and liver injury (hepatitis).

How are COVID-19 treatments approved?

The United States Food & Drug Administration is one of the safest and most stringent drug approval and authorization process in the world. The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats including infectious diseases, by facilitating the availability and use of medical countermeasures (MCMs) needed during public health emergencies. This includes COVID-19 treatments and therapies. Learn more about the FDA’s Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program.

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