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Day 17 of Our 31 Day Series of How Medicine Got It Wrong

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Remdesivir/Veklury: What You Need to Know!

Part 1 of _____

Today's post is a difficult one for American Frontline Nurses to write, research, and relive the countless hours of patient advocacy that we have done in almost 3 years due to Remdesivir and the hospital protocols. Nicole Sirotek founded American Frontline Nurses after she traveled to NYC at the beginning of the Covid Pandemic to help. She didn't expect to find gross negligence, complete medical mismanagement, and blatant disregard for human life that she saw in those inner-city hospitals. After a video of her begging for help to save her patient's life went viral, her life as she previously knew it was destroyed. Nicole made a promise to herself that she would continue to fight to help patients receive safe equitable care.


Remdesivir, also known as Veklury is a drug that has been approved for emergency use in certain patients by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain patients. However, it was and still is standard protocol for hospital patients and evidence shows that this drug has serious dangers that cannot be overlooked.

The "$cience" behind Remdesivir/Veklury

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that created to inhibit the replication of viruses. It was originally developed to treat Ebola virus, but it was later found to be effective against other viruses as well.

Several clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Remdesivir in COVID-19 patients. One of the largest trials, conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), involved more than 11,000 patients across 500 hospitals in 30 countries.

Based on these findings, the WHO issued a conditional recommendation against the use of Remdesivir in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, except in the context of clinical trials. The FDA, on the other hand, has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Remdesivir in certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

The Dangers of Remdesivir

Despite its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and widespread use, Remdesivir has been associated with several dangers and risks that cannot be overlooked.

One of the main concerns is liver toxicity. A recent study published in the Journal of Hepatology found that Remdesivir can cause liver damage in patients, especially those with pre-existing liver disease or elevated liver enzymes.

Another concern is renal toxicity. According to a report from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Remdesivir can cause acute kidney injury in patients, especially those with pre-existing kidney disease or risk factors for kidney injury.

Other side effects of Remdesivir include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, as well as serious allergic reactions, including infusion-related reactions and anaphylaxis, which are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Some have reported having a fever, chill or shaking, dizziness, headache, hoarseness, increased sweating, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, itching or skin rash, lightheadedness, fainting, fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat, or any swelling of the hands, face, or mouth after receiving Remdesivir. The drug may also interact with other medications such as Hydroxychloroquine and increase the risk of adverse effects.

Remdesivir Lawsuits Several lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of Remdesivir, alleging that the drug caused serious harm or death to patients.

For example, in one lawsuit filed in California, a family claims that their loved one died after receiving Remdesivir, and that the drug was responsible for his death. The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers of Remdesivir failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of the drug, and that they engaged in deceptive marketing practices.

In another lawsuit filed in Louisiana, a patient claims that he suffered severe liver damage after receiving Remdesivir, and that the drug caused him to require a liver transplant. The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers of Remdesivir knew or should have known about the risks of liver toxicity, but failed to warn patients and doctors about them.

Conclusion Remdesivir has been given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain, not all patients, however, it was and is still on the NIH protocol list, despite recent evidence that it has serious dangers and risks that cannot be overlooked. Patients and doctors must carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of this drug, and consider alternative treatments.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm or death as a result of Remdesivir, you may be entitled to compensation. You can also submit your story to AFLN to be shared on The Remembrance Project: The Voices of the COVID Pandemic


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Ways to support AFLN continue to create educational content here: https://www.americanfrontlinenurses.org/supportafln


References:

  1. Chen, C. Y., Wang, F. L., Lin, C. C., & Chronic, Diseases, & Translational Medicine. (2021). Remdesivir: A review of its safety and efficacy in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, 84(1), 32-35. https://doi.org/10.1097/JCMA.0000000000000465

  2. Food and Drug Administration. (2020). Fact sheet for healthcare providers emergency use authorization (EUA) of veklury (Remdesivir) for hospitalized pediatric patients weighing 3.5 kg to less than 40 kg or hospitalized pediatric patients less than 12 years of age weighing at least 3.5 kg [Fact sheet]. https://www.fda.gov/media/137566/download

  3. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (2022). Veklury (Remdesivir) for healthcare providers. https://www.vekluryhcp.com/

  4. Lezdo Techmed. (2021, March 16). Remdesivir Lawsuits: The facts you need to know. http://www.lezdotechmed.com/blog/medical-malpractice/remdesivir-lawsuits/

  5. NHS England. (2021, February 5). Remdesivir. https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/medicines-optimisation-guidance/remdesivir/

  6. RxList. (n.d.). Remdesivir RDV (Remdesivir): Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions, Warning. https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_remdesivir_rdv/drugs-condition.htm

  7. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 121304016, Remdesivir. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Remdesivir

  8. World Health Organization. (2020, November 20). WHO recommends against the use of remdesivir in COVID-19 patients. https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-recommends-against-the-use-of-remdesivir-in-covid-19-patients


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