Bamlanivimab with etesevimab is a COVID-19 neutralizing antibody treatment infusion. What does that mean?
Let’s break it down: When you become infected with COVID-19, your body makes antibodies to fight off the virus. Think about antibodies like little blood warriors. When you’re sick, your body produces lots of soldiers to defend against foreign invaders.
It takes time for your body to make enough antibodies to successfully fend off the virus. That’s where bamlanivimab with etesevimab comes in. Bamlanivimab with etesevimab contains man-made antibodies, similar to the ones found in patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
These man-made antibodies may help fend off the virus, giving your body some extra time to make its own warriors. Receiving the drug may help COVID-19 symptoms improve sooner, making a hospital visit less likely.
Requirements for treatment
Supplies are very limited. It will not be possible for everyone who becomes sick with COVID-19 to receive bamlanivimab with etesevimab at this time.
Bamlanivimab with etesevimab is NOT available at our emergency departments or clinics.
Because supplies are so limited, to receive the drug, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Age 65 or older
- A body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater
- Have a compromised immune system, or some other high-risk condition that could cause you to become very sick from COVID-19
And have tested positive for COVID-19 at a Nebraska Medicine location.
To be tested for COVID-19 through Nebraska Medicine, please follow these instructions.
How it works
Bamlanivimab with etesevimab is an intravenous (IV) infusion. It goes directly into your blood through a small needle inserted into your arm.
Nebraska Medicine offers the treatment at one of our infusion centers.
The appointment takes three to four hours. You only need to receive this infusion one time.
Questions and answers
How will I know if I'm selected to receive bamlanivimab with etesevimab?
Due to limited supplies, to receive bamlanivimab with etesevimab from Nebraska Medicine, you must have tested positive for COVID-19 at a Nebraska Medicine location.
Doctors will decide who receives treatment based on a variety of risk factors. As the supply of medication increases, the requirements for receiving bamlanivimab with etesevimab will be reconsidered.
You will receive a phone call from a Nebraska Medicine representative if you are selected.
Does bamlanivimab with etesevimab have the COVID-19 virus in it?
No, bamlanivimab with etesevimab does not have any COVID-19 virus in it.
Is bamlanivimab with etesevimab still being studied?
Yes, bamlanivimab with etesevimab is an investigational medicine. It is still being studied in clinical trials, so there’s a lot scientists don’t know about its benefits and risks.
Is bamlanivimab with etesevimab approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
The FDA has authorized bamlanivimab with etesevimab for emergency use during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not yet been fully approved by the FDA. The emergency use authorization can be terminated or revoked at any time.
How soon does it start working?
Everyone’s body reacts differently, so there’s no way to know for sure. In clinical trials, people who took bamlanivimab with etesevimab began to see their symptoms improve after about six days. People who received a placebo infusion improved after about eight days.
Is it the same as a vaccine?
No, bamlanivimab with etesevimab is not a vaccine. Vaccines help your body make its own antibodies. Bamlanivimab with etesevimab gives your body man-made antibodies. These man-made antibodies may give your body more time to naturally produce its own.