What Is a Monoclonal Antibody?
Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that are synthesized in laboratories. The monoclonal antibodies act like proteins in the human body. Their function is to find out antigens in the body and kill them. These artificial monoclonal antibodies stimulate the immune system and make it stronger.
Monoclonal antibodies are also called moAbs or mAbs.
Why Are Monoclonal Antibodies Used?
The basic purpose of the monoclonal antibody treatment is for research and the diagnosis of a disease. This treatment is also used for ascertaining the tissue or blood type for transplants.
Types of Diseases Treated by Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
Following are the diseases treated by monoclonal antibodies
How Is Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Performed?
- The patients may be taught to perform the monoclonal antibody treatment by themselves. This process involves naked monoclonal antibodies.
- The other method of giving monoclonal antibody treatment is as a therapy clubbed with another drug. This process involves using conjugated, loaded, or labeled monoclonal antibodies.
- Another method is called bispecific monoclonal antibodies, where antibodies are modified to attack two antigens at a time.
Preparation for Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
The monoclonal antibody treatments are normally done in the outpatient departments of infusion centers, where a set of patients are given this treatment. The process does not require hospitalization.
There is no requirement for preoperative examinations or any dietary restrictions. However, the care provider must ensure that the patient is not suffering from any allergic reaction. The treatment is given either by a nurse or paramedics. There is a waiting period of around 90 minutes post monoclonal antibody treatment to watch if there are any adverse side effects.
The most common way of inferring monoclonal antibodies into your system is through the intravenous solution (IV). The IV is injected into your body in infusion centers by trained personnel. The monoclonal antibodies are mainly given in the outpatient department (OPD) of the infusion centers. If you are visiting the clinic for the first time for monoclonal antibody treatment, the providers will like to find out if you are suffering from any allergies.
The other method of monoclonal antibody treatment is by means of injections or subcutaneously. The shots for the monoclonal antibody are given either in the abdomen or upper thighs.
Follow Up on Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
The follow-up post the monoclonal antibody treatment must be done under medical supervision. Depending on the gravity of the case, follow-up visits may vary from 30 days post-treatment or even after a gap of 60 or 100 days after the treatment has been done.
As per the experts, you need to wait for at least 90 days post monoclonal antibody treatment to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Risks and Side Effects of Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
One of the most common risks of monoclonal antibody treatment is the eruption of allergic reactions. Some of the side effects that you may feel post-treatment are as follows:
Shortness of breath
Blood pressure going down
Swollen lips, face, or throat
Infection at the IV site
In the case of pregnant women, one may still go ahead with the monoclonal antibody treatment as there is no proven risk of the treatment during pregnancy or to the unborn child. However, the decision to treat a pregnant lady squarely lies with the consulting doctor.
Recovery Period of Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
The patients who have undergone monoclonal antibody treatment, esspecially for COVID-19, felt they have started feeling better after 24 hours of the treatment. After 48 hours, the patients have felt they have recovered fully.