Tags: ICU | Arthritis | inflammation

Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Helps COVID-19 Patients in ICU

a person in an ICU
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By    |   Thursday, 19 November 2020 03:44 PM

An anti-inflammatory drug called 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 that the drug helped severely ill victims of the disease who landed in intensive care units. If these early findings are confirmed by future studies, tocilizumab would become the second effective treatment for the sickest COVID-19 patients, after the steroid dexamethasone.

“We think these are very exciting results, we are encouraged by them,” Professor Anthony Gordon, one of the principal investigators in the U.K., from the Imperial College London, and an expert in intensive care medicine, told The Guardian. “It could become the standard of care once we have all the data reviewed by guideline groups, and also the drug regulators.”

Experts told The Guardian that some COVID-19 patients die from the storms of inflammation triggered by severe pneumonia caused by the virus, so using a drug that calms that inflammation can help. Tocilizumab targets specific parts of the immune system to calm it down, according to BBC News. Researchers in the U.K said it was “an absolutely amazing result,” but experts warn that previous trials of this class of drugs did not elicit positive responses.

A U.S. study of the arthritis drug Kevzara, which is similar to tocilizumab, was stopped after it was shown to be no better than a placebo in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients. Researchers were hoping that 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.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi, who were conducting the clinical trials, also reported that 80% of the Kevzara patients had side effects compared to 77% who received placebos.

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An anti-inflammatory drug called tocilizumab used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis appears to improve outcomes for critically ill patients with COVID-19....
ICU, Arthritis, inflammation
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2020-44-19
Thursday, 19 November 2020 03:44 PM
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