Dear colleagues, patients, friends and guests,
On October 22, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for the treatment of COVID-19 (FDA Approves First Treatment for COVID-19, 2020).
This article delineates the population Remdesivir addresses, clinical trials of the drug, prescription information, and possible side effects. According to the FDA, the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) is applied for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care.
The article states that the approval does not include the entire population that had been authorized to use Veklury under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) originally issued on May 1, 2020. Clinical trials assessing the safety and efficacy of Veklury in the pediatric patient population are ongoing. It includes pediatric patients weighing 3.5 kg to less than 40 kg or hospitalized pediatric patients less than 12 years of age weighing at least 3.5 kg.
The FDA describes the possible side effects that include: increased levels of liver enzymes, which may be a sign of liver injury; and allergic reactions, which may include changes in blood pressure and heart rate, low blood oxygen level, fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling (e.g., lips, around eyes, under the skin), rash, nausea, sweating or shivering.
The question is: if the drug causes the side effects that mimic the signs and symptoms of the disease it treats, what is the efficacy of it? The clinical trials of Remdecivir will most likely continue to study its medical efficiency for all age groups of the population, and even outside the hospitals and clinics supplied with intensive care units.
FDA Approves First Treatment for COVID-19 (October 22, 2020). FDA.COM. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-treatment-covid-19
Inna Melnikov, DACM, LAc, National Board Certified by the NCCAOM
Illinois Department of Public Health recommended COVID19 testing sites in Illinois:
I regret not having started this discussion sooner. As everybody, myself included, is looking at the authorities for the solution, the authorities themselves don't know what to do other than what they normally would, following their administrative regulatory protocols. Medical authorities are talking about the development of the vaccine by April (now they say it’s been developed already). It's been a week since this mass movement is picking up its momentum, and the most sober voice I've heard so far, came from one of my friends, who said that he handles it by drinking Bloody Mary. I’d like to contribute to the topic of sobriety, and to make a few constructive suggestions.
As a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 30 years, and a doctoral student of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I'd like to share some thoughts on prevention/addressing the COVID19 epidemics on the individual level. According to one of my teachers, Asian medicine views virus as an evil pathogen. Typically, as he said, any aromatic herbs can help sanitize the environment at home and at work. Burning sage, moxa (pressed Mugwort), incents, famous myrrh and frankincense, using aromatic oils, especially tea tree oil, helps expel the pathogen from the environment. Keeping a few pieces of garlic in your pocket would support the prevention strategy as well. Having fresh sliced onion placed at every room would support joyful and healthy environment at home.
These would be the external measure. Everybody has already been sufficiently lectured on importance of washing hands. Here’s a word on prevention of cold:
For many years I’ve been known for standing on the soap box, screaming in the desert: people, wear a hat, scarf, and a coat when it’s windy and cold outside! In Chicago this kind of weather usually lasts until mid-June. Well, it means we need to bundle up until then. There is a great TCM herbal formula that’s applied at the first signs of upcoming cold, when a patient experiences mild symptoms for 1-2 days (sore throat, nasal discharge, coughing) - Gan Mao Ling. It’s sold on Amazon, I suggest the Plum Flower brand. The recommended dosage for adults is 3-6 pills 3 times a day after meal. It varies from 3 to 6, depending on the patient’s body weight - if someone is constitutionally small - take 3 pills 3 times a day. The formula can be used for children. The dosage for small children can be modified to 3 pills 3 times a day.
I had a discussion with my colleagues this morning, and they suggested the following formula to build a strong immunity and strengthen up the respiratory system: Yu Ping Feng San. There are numerous publications about the benefits of this formula for the treatment of serious respiratory issues; here’s one of them on PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5080430/. Yu Ping Feng San is available on Amazon; I recommend Great Nature brand (the dosage is posted on the label). Stress management and spirit management are very important as well. In order to keep your immune system strong, make sure you are well nourished, and don’t skip meals.
I will be back with more thoughts and updates from the TCM perspective. Let’s stay strong and optimistic! With love,
Inna Melnikov, DACM, LAc.