Health Canada has approved Evusheld as a preventative treatment for COVID-19. It is not intended to replace COVID-19 vaccinations, but rather to add another layer of protection in patients who are predicted to have a poor antibody response to the vaccine. It is a biologic therapy composed of 150mg of Tixagevimab and 150mg of Cilgavimab. These proteins are antibodies that are designed to block the entrance of the virus into human cells. The treatment is given as a set of two injections given in the buttocks. Over the last several months this preventative treatment has been made available to oncology and transplant patients. As of October 2022, Evusheld is also being made available to individuals receiving intravenous medications rituximab (commonly used in rheumatology) and ocrelizumab (widely used in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis). A prescription is required, and injections are being offered through many clinics throughout the province and in some physician offices.
If you are receiving either of these medications, you can contact your prescriber to see if this therapy is appropriate for you. In the event that you contract COVID-19, antiviral treatment should be initiated as soon as possible to further decrease the risk of developing severe outcomes from the virus.
As a reference, we have provided a document to share some general information about this treatment made available by Ontario Health.
Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain, and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.
Kunal Bhatt, RPh, PharmD, HBSc is a staff pharmacist for Charlton Health. As a 2020 PharmD graduate from the University of Toronto, Kunal possesses a diverse range of experiences from working in hospital and community pharmacy settings. Since January 2021, Kunal was heavily invested in contributing to the efforts against COVID-19 by administering upwards of 5000 COVID-19 vaccines at William Osler Health System’s vaccination clinics.