HomeCoronavirusTwo arthritis drugs reduce COVID deaths, study finds

Two arthritis drugs reduce COVID deaths, study finds

The arthritis drugs tocilizumab and sarilumab reduce the risk of death and the need for respirators in COVID-19 patients, according to an analysis of nearly 11.000 patients released Tuesday.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and led the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend the use of drugs, known as IL-6 inhibitors, in addition to corticosteroids among patients with severe or critical covid.

Manu Shankar-Hari, lead author of the study, told AFP that the research represented "definitive evidence" in favor of these drugs after studies that yielded mixed results.

Among hospitalized covid patients, administering one of the drugs along with corticosteroids reduced the risk of death by 17% compared to using corticosteroids alone.

In patients who are not being treated with respirators, the risk of dying or switching to ventilators was reduced by 21% compared to the exclusive use of corticosteroids.

Tocilizumab and sarilumab are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition, by inhibiting the effects of interleukin IL-6, a type of protein called a cytokine that prompts the body to increase an inflammatory response.