COVID-19 at-home antiviral treatment to undergo clinical trials in Mesa

A lab in Mesa is involved in trials for a new at-home treatment for COVID-19 that, if approved, could help reduce hospitalizations.

If all goes well, doctors say this pill could become the go-to method for treating early COVID-19 cases.

"We're working with antiviral drugs, all of it, to have medications available for patients for the treatment of COVID-19, says Dr. Yessica Sachdeva, a primary investigator with Arizona Clinical Trials.

She says her team has been focusing on COVID-19 treatments for the last year and a half.

Unlike the monoclonal antibody treatment given at hospitals, these antiviral drugs could be taken at home.

"So just like when you go to the doctor with the flu and you get a prescription of Tamiflu, for example. The nice thing would be that we'd be able to do that in the future," Dr. Sachdeva said.

At the moment, there is no approved take-home antiviral pill for COVID-19. This one in the works is simply offered through the clinical trial to patients diagnosed with the virus. Dr. Sachdeva says getting approval for any medication is a long process.

"It's not that we just come out and say like, ‘Oh this medication works.’ There is a lot for work that happens [behind the scenes]. There is a lot of data, a lot of science, a lot of clinical work behind any medication that comes out in the market," she explains.

Patients who agree to participate in the trial would receive treatment over the course of several days, then be monitored to see if their symptoms get better.

Sachdeva says the goal is that this pill could reduce hospitalizations and severe cases of the virus. 

"It is easier for a patient to be treated outpatient before they get complications, before they need to go to the hospital. So all of these will need to be done early at the beginning of their diagnosis."

Related Stories:

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: