Arthritis medication may shorten hospital stay for severe Kovid-19 patients: study

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London: According to Swedish medicine tocilizumab, which is used in the treatment of various forms of arthritis, can greatly reduce time on ventilation and hospital stays for patients with severe Kovid-19.
The study, published in The Journal of Internal Medicine, included 87 patients with Kovid-19 in intensive care at Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden.
“The report is, as far as we know, the first from Sweden to present the results of a specific drug intervention for severe cases of Kovid-19,” said Piot Novak from Karolinska University Hospital.
In the study, toxiluzab was obtained in 29 patients, a drug approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which blocks the so-called IL-6 receptor to prevent viral hyperinflammation or cytokine storm.
Researchers said the new coronovirus-borne hyperinflammation is central to the pathological process and causes higher levels of cytokine IL-6, which is associated with a more severe Kovid-19 disease.
The differences between the treatment and control groups were significant, he said.
The study found that patients who received tocilizumab were hospitalized for significantly shorter lengths, including time spent on ventilators, as well as those receiving standard treatment.
The researchers reported that time spent on ventilation was reduced to ten days, eight days in intensive care, and a total hospital stay of ten days.
Treatment was not associated with serious adverse events, he said.
“So it seems we can make Kovid-19 patients seriously ill by affecting inflammation in the body with this treatment,” said Novak.
“The result should now be confirmed by a large study that randomly assigns patients to either tocilizumab or other treatments,” he said.
The study is a so-called retrospective covalent study, which involves working back from particular results to determine potential causal factors, the researchers said.
In this case, there was a factor that received drug treatment and which was not, he said.
The drawback is that the results are less reliable because it is harder to control for various influencing factors, he said.

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