Remdesivir has been called life-saving and it’s now become one of the options President Donald Trump’s physicians are using to help him heal.
The anti-viral drug has been used to help COVID-19 patients recover faster. The president received his first dose on Saturday, as part of a five-day treatment.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, with UT Health San Antonio, has been leading a local study site for clinical trials of Remdesivir at University Hospital since March.
Patterson said hospitalized COVID-19 patients who have required oxygen benefit the most from the treatment.
“I think patients like the president, admitted to a hospital, those patients are really the ones who benefited most," he said
According to the president’s medical team, he has been given supplemental oxygen since becoming ill. Patterson said the president meets the criteria where Remdesivir could be helpful.
“Those would have been perimeters that would suggest he would have benefited and hopefully he will," said Patterson.
However, Patterson said patients who require an extensive amount of oxygen don’t benefit as much. Remdesivir can cause liver function abnormalities, but most symptoms are limited to nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
“Really few patients are having to get the drug discontinued because of side effects," he said.
The president is currently recovering at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. White House officials said he was injected with an experimental antibody cocktail.
The president is also being treated with antibody therapy, and supplements including Zinc, Vitamin D, and Aspirin.
Questions have mounted surrounding the president’s treatment, but Patterson said health officials are working to find the right answer.
“We’re learning a lot in this disease still, and we would like to know the best path forward,” he said.
White House Physician Sean Conley said there have been improvements in the president’s health since the beginning of his treatment.
He could be discharged as early as Monday.