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Fact Check on COVID-19 Treatments

a white puzzle with a missing piece marked covid-19 and the final piece marked remdesivir
(Nawanthorn Wachirathada/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 January 2021 03:15 PM

There has been a lot of hype about COVID-19 treatments as the world desperately seeks effective ways to battle this devastating disease. Some of the research on these remedies appears promising while others fail under scientific scrutiny. According to DW, a German news outlet, here is a fact-check of the most popular COVID-19 treatments.

Dexamethasone. This anti-inflammatory drug was found to reduce the 28-day fatality rate among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but it must be given at the right time. "If you use it too early, you would dampen or block the immune system and could even provoke the disease to become more severe," said Sandra Criesek, a virologist at the University Hospital Frankfurt.

Hydroxychloroquine. This anti-malarial drug was shown to be ineffective in several studies and displayed serious side effects, according to DW.

Tocilizumab and sarilumab. These anti-inflammatory drugs are still under review with mixed study results. Tocilizumab, used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis, appears to improve outcomes for critically ill patients with COVID-19. Early results from an international investigative trial found the drug helped severely ill victims of the disease who landed up in intensive care units, according to The Guardian. However, a U.S. study of the arthritis drug Kevzara, which is the brand name for sarilumab, was stopped after it was shown to be no better than a placebo in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients. Researchers were hoping Kevzara would help treat the "cytokine storm" experienced by those who are severely ill and were on ventilators, high-flow oxygen, or in intensive care units.

Ivermectin. While the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advise against using this anti-parasitic drug to treat COVID-19, other researchers conclude the drug could reduce viral load and accelerate recovery in mild to moderate cases of the disease, according to DW. Dr. Jean-Jacques Rajter, of Florida's Broward Health Medical Center recently told Newsmax TV that scientific trials do suggest  ivermectin could be useful in treating the coronavirus. Rajter was one of seven researchers from the Broward Health Medical Center who, after learning of ivermectin's success in prohibiting replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a laboratory, reviewed 280 cases of patients with COVID-19 who were – and were not – treated with ivermectin. Their results were published in October in the medical journal Chestnet.

Remdesivir. There is no evidence to support the treatment of this drug which was given to President Donald Trump after he contracted COVID-19. According to DW, it is approved within the European Union for conditional use in COVID-19 patients who have pneumonia, and, in the U.S., it is has the green light to treat hospitalized patients. The WHO recommends against using the drug. According to Forbes, remdesivir was granted an Emergency Use Authorization to treat severely ill patients by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is administered intravenously to those patients who are hospitalized.

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According to DW, a German news outlet, here is a fact-check of the most popular COVID-19 treatments.
treatments, covid-19, pandemic, remdesivir, invermectin, hydroxychloroquine, dexamethasone
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2021-15-20
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 03:15 PM
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