By Tony Winterburn • 31 August 2020 • 21:16
RESULTS of a new study show that a rheumatoid arthritis drug may help improve the conditions of severely ill patients.
Tocilizumab, sold under the brand names Actemra, is a medication with anti-inflammatory properties that scientists now believe can control the immune system’s overreaction to the virus. Seven patients that were given doses of the drug saw their severe symptoms reduce and they were able to come off of ventilators and oxygen therapy – fevers also diminished.
As there are no vaccines available yet, there exists a pressing need to test both current medicines and experimental therapies to stop the disease, which has so far killed more than 183,000 Americans, in its tracks.
Steroid drug also improves outcomes
A leading specialist has revealed that some seriously ill Irish patients with Covid-19 are benefiting from an inexpensive steroid drug that has been around for decades and linked to improved survival from the deadly virus.
Dr Brian Kinirons, a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care at Galway University Hospital, said the simple steroid, Dexamethasone, was now commonly administered to patients with Covid-19 who were on ventilators in intensive care. The drug, which was first created in the 1950s, is usually given to treat ulcerative colitis, arthritis and some types of cancer.
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