COVID-19 symptoms? Positive test? People need to know available options

While the number of Food and Drug Administration-approved/authorized COVID-19 drug treatments are limited, there are options, including clinical research studies.

COVID-19 positive test? Here’s what you need to know:

It’s not just about prevention

COVID-19 has nearly everyone feeling anxious these days. Even people who have been vaccinated may need to wear a mask, and those who catch COVID-19 may worry about serious long-term effects. But what people need to know is — if they test positive — they still have options. Though the number of Food and Drug Administration-approved/authorized COVID-19 drug treatments are limited at present, people may be eligible to participate in clinical research studies of investigational treatments.

Clinical research studies provide an option

Also known as clinical trials, research studies are testing numerous investigational drugs to see if they may, for example, shorten the duration of COVID-19 symptoms, limit disease severity and help keep people out of the hospital. Yet, with so many studies, it would be hard to sort through them all. Fortunately, companies like AcurianHealth exist to help match people to studies that are a good fit for them. To do this, AcurianHealth might ask a person their age, or about their symptoms and general health in order to match them to a COVID-19 study for which they are likely to qualify.

Clinical research studies are available and companies like AcurianHealth exist to help match people to studies that are a good fit for them.

Few COVID-19 treatments are available

Not long ago, doctors were trying to figure out how best to handle COVID-19 patients — particularly those with more severe disease. More recently, many doctors have been using corticosteroids to treat severe disease since the FDA has approved just one drug for COVID-19 (Remdesivir), while authorizing just a few others for emergency use. But some of these treatments appear to have limited availability.

According to a New York hematologist interviewed recently by The New York Times, “… different monoclonal antibodies … have been found effective in treating people at a high risk of complications from COVID-19, and last fall the Food and Drug Administration approved their emergency use to treat the disease. But right now it’s too hard for patients to obtain this treatment.”

So a shortlist — and possible shortage — of approved/authorized COVID-19 treatments are reasons why research studies and matchmakers like AcurianHealth may be of interest to people who may have COVID-19. In fact, volunteers are needed for new drug development, which will be key to maintaining normal life as new, more contagious variants of the virus continue to pop up around the globe. For more information about clinical research studies for those who have tested positive for COVID-19, visit livebeyondcovid.com.

All clinical research is government-regulated and 100% voluntary

Clinical research studies follow strict scientific standards and are conducted to learn whether a new drug, treatment or method is safe and effective. In this case, studies will help doctors find out if different investigational drugs for COVID-19 are safe and effective at treating the virus.

The FDA has authority over all drug research in the United States, and since participant safety is key, all study procedures are also reviewed by a board that includes scientists, doctors and regular citizens. This board makes sure that steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of all study participants.

Furthermore, studies are volunteer only. People can decide if they want to participate after a study doctor explains the study procedures and any possible benefits and risks. What’s more, study participants are free to leave a study any time they wish, for any reason.

Volunteering in a clinical research study helps medical experts and scientists learn how to combat COVID-19.

Clinical research can help us all

Some people volunteer for clinical research studies to gain access to investigational drugs, since those who choose to participate may receive them at no cost — in addition to receiving payment for their participation.

Sometimes researchers may test a drug against the standard of care and/or placebo — meaning that a volunteer may or may not get the study drug. But in either case their health is still monitored for the length of the study by the study doctor at no cost, which is key for an unpredictable disease like COVID-19.

Finally, some people volunteer simply because they want to help others with COVID-19, to help future generations or to advance our understanding of this baffling disease.

People in the Austin, Texas area who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last nine days should know that clinical trial appointments are currently available. For more information about clinical research studies for COVID-positive people, visit LiveBeyondCovid.com.

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