The Food and Drug Administration has authorized remdesivir to treat the most severely ill COVID-19 patients.
The authorization states that remdesivir may be used for adults and children with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients who are severely ill with low blood oxygen levels or if they are on a ventilator.
The FDA said in a press release, “Given there are no adequate, approved, or available alternative treatments, the known and potential benefits to treat this serious or life-threatening virus currently outweigh the known and potential risks of the drug’s use.”
The New York Post reports that the announcement was made on Friday during a meeting between President Trump, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, and the CEO of Gilead Sciences, the company that developed remdesivir.
According to the FDA, possible side effects of remdesivir include “increased levels of liver enzymes, which may be a sign of inflammation or damage to cells in the liver; and infusion-related reactions, which may include low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and shivering.”