The 75-year-old female patient, who was treated with COVID-19 at the Department of Pulmonology of Semmelweis University has recently been released from hospital. She was the first patient at the institute to be treated with the Hungarian remdesivir.

The female patient suffering from diabetes was hospitalized on October 14, she was in a serious condition, she arrived at the department because of a deteriorating cough, dyspnea and pneumonia. She was treated with the anti-viral drug containing remdesivir, produced by Richter Gedeon Nyrt., on the very same day. The patient’s treatment was a so called combination therapy, which means that apart from remdesivir she was also provided with steroids, medication preventing thrombosis and vitamins, as well as high-flow oxygen therapy. Due to the treatment, the patient’s condition has remarkably improved, therefore she was released from the clinic on October 25 and currently she is recovering at her home.

Up to the present, altogether 19 COVID-19 patients have been treated with the Hungarian coronavirus drug containing remdesivir at Semmelweis University. Three clinics of the university participate in the clinical trial related to the anti-viral drug produced by Richter Gedeon Nyrt.: the Department of Pulmonology, the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Therapy and the Department of Internal Medicine and Haematology.

Remdesivir that inhibits viral replication is given to patients via an intravenous therapy. It can only be used in the treatment of those hospitalized patients who are in a serious condition and are in need of oxygen therapy. However, in case of a serious hepatic impairment or a remarkable renal insufficiency this drug cannot be applied.

Plasma therapy is part of the complex, high-quality therapy applied in the treatment of COVID-19 patients at the clinics of Semmelweis University. Up until now 57 patients have been provided with the serum, which is generated out of the blood of individuals already recovered from coronavirus.

In addition, administering doses of dexamethasone has been a mandatory element of the complex treatment protocol for ventilated patients since April, 2020. According to several studies, certain corticosteroids, like dexamethasone, can facilitate the success of the therapy with the reduction of the immune response. In full knowledge of this new evidence, dexamethasone is being used as a supplementary therapy at the university in case of COVID-19 patients who are in need of oxygen.

The clinical trial related to remdesivir produced in Hungary started in the middle of October with the participation of all the four medical universities in Hungary.


Eszter Kovács
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translation: Katalin Illés-Romhányi