A San Diego doctor who has treated local COVID-19 patients is sharing his opinion on the recent drug combination administered to President Trump after his positive test result.
“I will say Remdesivir, the anti-viral medication, is pretty standard for people who require oxygen or are sick enough to be in the hospital,” said Dr. Christian Ramers.
But Ramers also said an experimental antibody drug cocktail given the president has limited data, and use of the steroid Dexamethasone is a “head scratcher” that could actually cause more harm than good.
“That is a medicine that can do more harm than good if it’s used too early, or in milder cases. If you give an immune suppressant drug too early, it may actually increase viral replication, and that’s been seen in other diseases such as influenza, that steroids, in general, can knock the immune system down at a point when you need it most,” said Ramers.
Ramers also said use of Dexamethasone could also be sign of bigger a bigger problem.
“It’s been a little bit of a kitchen sink approach, really getting everything that’s available, and the dexamethasone really does indicate that the disease might be a little more severe than we’re hearing," said Ramers.
Ramers also noted the use of the experimental antibody therapy cocktail made by Regeneron. He says the biotech company has released preliminary data in only about 200 people.
“It may have some promising effects but we just don’t have the data out there to tell if this really does work or not. And the risk is that maybe there's side-effects that we don’t know about,” said Ramers.
“To give the medicine already to the president of the United States is unprecedented,” said Ramers.
Meanwhile, Ramers would not comment on whether the president’s decision to leave the hospital over the weekend to wave at supporters was wise, or, as some have said, reckless.
“We really need to stick to the facts here, and the facts are, that someone is contagious really from the time they have symptoms until ten days after that. We really know that viral shedding does continue to occur,” Ramers said.
Ramers also concurred with the president's own physician by suggesting that Trump is still ‘not out of the woods.’ Ramers said the next week will be critical.
“When the disease can really get serious is at Day 7 to 10, really after that," Ramers said. "So I think we’re really not out of the woods, and the clinical status can change at any moment."