Sotrovimab for coronavirus
Sotrovimab is a medicine used to treat coronavirus (COVID-19).
A doctor or specialist healthcare professional might prescribe sotrovimab if you meet all 3 of these criteria. You:
- have tested positive for COVID-19
- have symptoms of COVID-19
- are in a high risk group
Sotrovimab is usually given within 7 days of your symptoms starting.
How sotrovimab works
Sotrovimab is a man-made protein that fights viruses like a human antibody in your immune system.
It works by sticking to the surface of the virus and stopping it from getting into your lungs and making you seriously ill. It can also help your body fight the virus, and help you get better more quickly.
People who should not have sotrovimab
You must not receive this treatment if you are allergic to sotrovimab or any of its ingredients:
- histidine monohydrochloride
- polysorbate 80
Check with your healthcare professional if you think this might apply to you.
How sotrovimab is given
You will have a thin tube (cannula) put into a vein in the back of your hand or in your arm. Sotrovimab will be made into a solution (infusion) and given to you through a drip attached to the cannula (intravenously).
It takes 30 minutes to give you the full dose (amount) of medicine.
You will only need 1 dose.
You will be monitored closely during the infusion, and for at least 1 hour afterwards. You can expect to be in hospital for 3 to 4 hours.
Pain during the infusion
You might feel a slight sting when we insert the needle to give the infusion. You should feel no pain when we give the sotrovimab.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Ask your healthcare professional for advice before receiving sotrovimab if you:
- are pregnant
- think you might be pregnant
- are planning to have a baby
It is not known if sotrovimab can pass into breast milk, so tell your healthcare professional if you are breastfeeding.
Like all medicines, sotrovimab can cause side effects. Everyone is different so might react to medicines differently.
Mild side effects
The most common side effect is a mild allergic reaction (hypersensitivity). This can cause symptoms, including:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- feeling dizzy
- an itchy rash
- redness (this might be less noticeable on black or brown skin) and warmth on your skin
These side effects usually happen within the first 24 hours and should go away on their own.
If they bother you, or do not go away, contact your GP, NHS 111 or the COVID-19 medicines delivery unit (CMDU) team, phone 020 7188 0510.
Serious side effects
In rare cases, sotrovimab can cause a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). This can happen up to 48 hours after the infusion’s been given.
Go to your nearest emergency department (A&E) if:
you have a serious allergic reaction.
You could be having a serious allergic reaction if you:
- have a severe skin rash, that might include itchy red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- have tightness in the chest or throat
- have trouble breathing or talking
- have swelling of your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat
- have a fast heart rate
- feel light headed or faint (due to a low blood pressure)
You will be monitored closely (taking your blood pressure and pulse) during the infusion and for at least 1 hour afterwards for any signs of allergy. You should let a healthcare professional know immediately if you feel unwell.
If you have an allergic reaction, we will stop giving you sotrovimab, and treat you immediately with medicine to relieve your symptoms.
Eating and drinking
You can eat and drink as normal before, during and after your sotrovimab infusion.
After the infusion
We will recheck your blood pressure and pulse. If these readings are within your normal range, we will ask you to remain in the unit for 1 hour. This is to make sure you do not have a delayed allergic reaction. If you are still feeling well after this time you will be able to go home.
If your readings are not within your normal range, a doctor will assess you. You might need to stay on the unit for a little longer for more monitoring.
You should be aware that allergic reactions can happen up to 48 hours after the infusion. If you notice any reactions, you should follow these instructions.
If you feel dizzy after your treatment, do not drive a car, ride a bike, or use tools or machinery. Wait for your dizziness to settle before you do any of these things.
A member of our team will call to check on you within 48 hours, after your infusion. If you do not want to be called by a member of our team, please let your nurse on the infusion unit know.
Self-isolation after sotrovimab
You should continue to self-isolate in line with government guidelines, even after treatment with sotrovimab. This is because you can still pass on the virus to others for a few days after treatment.
Leaflet number: 5328/VER1
Last reviewed: November 2022
Next review: November 2025