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Single-dose cocktail helping patients recover faster: DocsPUNE: Six mild to moderately ill Covid patients with multiple comorbid conditions showed faster recovery after taking the newest Covid medicine – a single-dose cocktail of monoclonal antibodies at four different hospitals in the city in the last two weeks.

All the six patients did not progress to severe Covid illness post-therapy, doctors said.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system to fight the virus and help patients make a quick recovery. It is meant only for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. The single-dose therapy costs Rs 60,000.

“We treated two patients with monoclonal antibody cocktail therapy. Both have quite a few comorbid conditions. But they responded well to the treatment and did not develop any Covid associated complications,” said infectious diseases expert Mahesh Lakhe.

One of the two patients was an 83-year-old man having diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension and a lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Another was a 70-year-old woman with chronic kidney disease, diabetes and has undergone various surgeries in the past. She had moderate Covid.

“Both patients were given the therapy within three days of Covid positive report and less than a week of symptoms. They had mild to moderate infections and did not require oxygenation. But both had a high-risk profile to develop severe Covid,” Lakhe said.

Senior physician Dilip Mane treated two patients with the antibody cocktail. “Both had moderate Covid and were treated within seven days of the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. One of them, a 55-year-old man, recovered within five days. The other woman (65) took seven days. Both are good post-discharge,” he said.

Doctors are divided over its overall usefulness as a therapy. “With the results we are seeing in India, single-dose cocktails of monoclonal antibodies seem to be a highly effective way to stop disease progression in people who may develop severe infection, and thereby reduce chances of ICU admission as well as death,” Lakhe said.

“The cocktail therapy is not a miracle drug. Studies have shown that it can reduce hospitalisation or repeat emergency visits by about 70%. Currently, evidence is not robust for its usage,” said infectious diseases expert Parikshit Prayag.

The therapy is not meant for every Covid patient. “Only those who are not on oxygen therapy, have multiple comorbidities are considered for the therapy,” Prayag said. “Studies have shown that it works against variants like B1.617. However, efficacy may reduce as new variants emerge,” he said.

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