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Is this new drug cocktail the next great COVID-19 treatment option?

Drug given to President Trump being tested at AU
Drug given to President Trump being tested at AU
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Doctors at AU Health are touting a new drug cocktail -- even calling it like an immediate vaccine.

Dr. Jose Vazquez says he’s already used it on three patients in the hospital, and it’s giving him hope about its life-saving potential.

The COVID unit is seeing a new treatment.

“It actually knocks down the virus levels dramatically within the first couple days,” Vazquez said. “It also diminishes the symptoms within 24 to 48 hours.”

Vazquez says they started using Regeneron’s antibody cocktail two months ago. It’s called a cocktail because it’s two antibodies in one dose with proteins from recovered COVID patients.

“These proteins essentially protect us from the infection,” Vazquez said. “Essentially, it’s like giving an immediate vaccine.”

But only three patients at AU have received it. To get it, you have to be in the hospital and diagnosed within 72 hours. The good news is it’s being tested nationally for outpatient treatment and a preventative drug.

“If you’ve had a big exposure and you’re negative, giving you this drug, it’s possible it can prevent the infection,” Vazquez said.

AU is also doing a clinical study of an oral drug for COVID.

But the treatments available now are making a COVID diagnosis different than it was back in March or April.

“They’ve already made an impact,” Vazquez said. “Our mortality rates with COVID here have dropped significantly.”

AU says outpatient treatment with the antibody cocktail likely won’t be ready for about 6 months, but they envision a clinic where COVID patients can come, get the IV, and get better.

AU Health says the antibody cocktail has been used on more than 100 patients nationwide. They say you don’t have to be severely ill with COVID to receive the medication.

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