- The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study that showed that two arthritis drugs are useful in the treatment of Covid-19 patients
- The drugs Tocilizumab and Sarilumab are particularly useful when administered alongside another drug used to treat Covid patients
- The study was commissioned by the World Health Organization and over 10k patients participated in the study
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that arthritis drugs Tocilizumab and Sarilumab can decrease the risk of death and the need for ventilators in patients hospitalised due to Covid-19.
The study was prompted by the World Health Organization to recommend the use of the medications, known as IL-6 inhibitors, in addition to corticosteroids in Covid-19 patients under severe or critical conditions, according to NDTV.
After prior trials yielded conflicting results, Manu Shankar-Hari, a professor at King's College London and the paper's lead author, said the research offered a "definitive piece of evidence" in favour of the medications, according to EWN.
The study found that when one of the medicines was given in addition to corticosteroids, the risk of death was lowered by 17% compared to corticosteroids alone. The risk of advancing to mechanical ventilation was lowered by 21% among patients who were not on ventilators.
Tocilizumab and Sarilumab are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis by inhibiting the effects of interleukin (IL)-6, a type of protein called a cytokine.
These drugs are particularly helpful in severely ill Covid patients because their immune systems go through a "cytokine storm", which leads to organ failure and death, according to NDTV.
10 930 patients were chosen to participate in the study. 6 449 patients randomly received interleukin-6 inhibitors and 4 481 received their usual care or a placebo.
Tocilizumab and Sarilumab, which are administered via infusion or injection, are currently suggested to be used in conjunction with corticosteroids and not independently.
Covid-19 update: New Lambda variant is possibly more transmissible
Briefly News recently reported that the Covid-19 Lambda variant has been making its way around countless countries across the globe but, according to reports, it has not yet been detected in South Africa. A presentation was delivered to the National Coronavirus Control Council (NCCC) on Tuesday.
In the presentation, Professor Tulio de Oliveira and Dr Richard Lessell from the Network for Genomic Surveillance South Africa (NGS-SA) stated that the variant had already been detected in one country on the African continent.
The C.37, aka Lambda variant was first detected in Peru last December and has since made its way to 30 other countries, including Egypt.
IOL reported that Public Health England (PHE) stated that at the moment there is no evidence that the Lambda variant causes any symptoms that are more severe nor does it render the current vaccines being deployed any less effective.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!