COVID-19 Treatment with MABS (Monoclonal Antibodies)

If you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, started having mild to moderate symptoms in the last 10 days, and are at high risk for progressing to severe disease, immediately call your healthcare provider and ask about treatment for COVID-19. You can get treatment at these infusion sites. 

  • MABS is a doctor-recommended treatment for COVID-19 that is fast, easy, and highly effective. It helps keep you from getting sicker and being hospitalized.
  • The earlier you start treatment after your symptoms start the more effective it is, so get tested as soon as you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • After completing this simple infusion, many people with COVID-19 start feeling better as early as the next day. This treatment does not require hospitalization.
  • Treatment will help you protect your household from COVID-19.
  • Find out how to schedule treatment in your own home.
  • Find ways to prevent, treat or help fight COVID-19.

What is this treatment?

This treatment is called monoclonal antibody treatment.

Antibodies are proteins that people's bodies make to fight viruses, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies made in a laboratory act a lot like natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus in your body. They are called monoclonal antibodies (MABS).

MABS treatment is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms. These treatments are allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) while clinical studies continue to look at their usefulness and safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS)?

You can use MABS if you test positive for COVID-19, are age 12 or older, started having mild to moderate symptoms in the past 10 days, and are at high risk for progressing to severe disease. For questions about whether you can and should get this treatment, call your healthcare provider. You can get treatment at these infusion sites

For patients who do not have or have lost their health insurance, learn about other urgent care and health centers and accessing healthcare and support services.

 

Can I get MABS treatment while pregnant or breastfeeding?

We don’t yet know if it’s safe to get MABS treatment while pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their healthcare provider. There's no available data on the presence of lab-made antibodies in human or animal milk, the effects on breastfed infants, or the effects on milk production.

CDC: Considerations for Newborns and Breastfeeding

 

Who should not get MABS?

You should not get this treatment if you:

  • Are hospitalized due to COVID-19 OR
  • Need oxygen therapy due to COVID-19 OR
  • Are on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying conditions not related to COVID-19 who need to increase their baseline oxygen due to COVID-19

MABS treatment may make these conditions worse.

 

What if I cannot get MABS treatment?

This is the only treatment for COVID-19 for people who are not hospitalized. Treatments for hospitalized patients include the antiviral drug remdesivir and steroids. Talk to your healthcare provider about treatments that are right for you.

Does treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS) work?

Clinical trials for MABS have shown a decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits and a decrease in the amount of virus in an infected person's blood. Studies are still ongoing.

 

What are the side effects of MABS treatment?

Clinical studies are ongoing to evaluate the usefulness and safety of MABS treatment. It is possible that not all risks are known yet. Antibody treatments could get in the way of your body’s own immune response to future infections with COVID-19, or they could affect your immune response to a vaccine for COVID-19.

The most common reported side effects with casirivimab and imdevimab are nausea and vomiting, hyperglycemia, and pneumonia. The side effects of getting any medicine by vein may include brief pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, and possible infection at the infusion site. Rarely, people may have allergic reactions.

How is treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS) given?

MABS are usually given into a vein by intravenous (IV) infusion. They can also be given by injection under the skin if IV infusion is not possible and would delay treatment, but IV infusion is strongly recommended. MABS may only be given in settings where healthcare providers have immediate access to medications to treat any reactions and where emergency medical systems are available, if needed.

 

Where can I get it?

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should get MABS treatment and where you can get it. 

Will my insurance cover treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS)?

The cost of MABS treatment is covered for Medicare beneficiaries, but healthcare facilities may charge a fee for to give the treatment. People who don’t receive Medicare should contact their medical insurance provider about treatment costs and should also speak with their healthcare provider who orders the treatment.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had treatment with monoclonal antibodies (MABS)?

We do not yet know how effective vaccines are in someone who has previously gotten MABS treatment for COVID-19 or whether the treatment could interfere with your body's own immune response to a vaccine. Once you’ve had COVID-19, you are very unlikely to be reinfected for three months afterward. So if you had MABS treatment, you should wait for three months before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

CDC: Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States

 

Can I get MABS treatment after I’ve gotten any COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. For partially or fully vaccinated people who become infected with COVID-19, having gotten a COVID-19 vaccine should not affect MABS treatment decisions or timing.