Looking Ahead: An Effective Oral Drug for Treatment of COVID-19

The three worst pandemics in known human history were the bubonic plague in the 14th century, influenza in 1918, and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) that was first recognized in 1981. Influenza killed 50 million people, AIDS has killed 35 million, and COVID-19 has killed about 5 million, so far. Now it appears that […]

Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has heightened interest in the use of monoclonal antibodies to treat and prevent the infection, particularly in unvaccinated patients (B. Mueller. Shunning shots but lining up for antibodies. NY Times, Sept 19, 2021, p. 1). Three monoclonal antibody products are available in the US: casirivimab and imdevimab (REGEN-COV – […]

When Will It All End?

That’s what my son asked me. What will it take for you to feel comfortable walking into a restaurant without a mask? Good question. I thought about it. A treatment, I said. An accessible, effective, oral treatment. Treatments that are approved or authorized by the FDA for COVID-19 include the antiviral drug remdesivir (Veklury), the  […]

Preview: Drugs for Chronic Heart Failure

The next issue of The Medical Letter will offer our readers an update on what’s new in the treatment of chronic heart failure, based largely on 2 other updates: the 2017 ACC/AHA/HFSA Focused Update of the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline for the Management of Heart Failure and a 2021 ACC Update to the 2017 ACC Expert […]

Efficacy of Covid-19 Vaccines

Now that many of our patients have been vaccinated against Covid-19, they want to know if they could catch it anyway. The answer is yes, of course, but that does not mean that 5% of them will become infected, as some pundits have told them, if they received a 95% effective messenger RNA vaccine. The […]

Colchicine Past and Present

The anti-inflammatory drug colchicine has been used for many centuries to treat acute flares of gout. In more recent times, it has also been used for treatment of familial Mediterranean fever, various dermatologic conditions, pericarditis and now, reviewed on our website, coronary artery disease. Colchicine is found in the seeds, flowers and underground stems of […]

AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine

An interim analysis of 4 randomized double-blind trials of an adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccine was published recently.1 Developed through a partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford University, this vaccine is relatively inexpensive and can be stored in standard refrigerators. It has been approved for use in the UK and several other countries, but not to date in […]