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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

June 5, 2020

Patients and Parents/Caregivers

Remdesivir Information for Patients and Parents/Caregivers

This Guidance is no longer in effect and is for historical purposes only.

​Remdesivir is a treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This information reviews the risks and benefits of taking remdesivir.

What is remdesivir?

Remdesivir is a medication that may help you get better from COVID-19 faster by decreasing the virus in your body. The FDA allows remdesivir to be given to people with COVID-19 under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Remdesivir is not considered FDA approved because it is still being studied.

Can I receive more information about remdesivir?

Yes. Ask your doctor about how remdesivir might help and what the possible side effects are. Your doctor can provide you with a detailed FDA Fact Sheet.

What are my choices?

It is your choice whether to be treated or not with remdesivir. You may also stop remdesivir at any time. These decisions will not change the other medical care you are receiving. Ask your doctor about any other medications that might help you. Let your health care team know of any changes in your decisions.

Is the supply of remdesivir limited?

Yes. Limited supplies of remdesivir are being distributed to hospitals based on the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. Your doctor and nurses will inform you if your hospital has remdesivir. Treatment decisions are based on the severity of your illness and not on age, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or insurance status.

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

During emergencies like a pandemic the FDA can give an EUA to medicines that are still being studied but which seem to be a safe and effective treatment.

What are the next steps?

  • Discuss with your doctor if remdesivir or other medicines are available and whether you want to receive them.
  • Choose someone who can help make your medical decisions.
  • Tell your medical team who is helping you if you cannot speak for yourself.
  • Make sure to let that person know what is important to you.
  • Continue to discuss your questions with your medical team.