The Combination Of Drugs Can Reduce The Mortality Of The Most Severe Patients By Half
2021-02-11 | by CusiGO
A clinical trial in the UK has found that a second treatment can save the lives of covid patients. The director of the recovery trial has just announced that the drug can reduce the mortality rate of hospitalized patients with severe infections by 4%. Effectiveness may be reduced, but when combined with dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation, mortality will be reduced by a third and by 50% in the most severe patients.
Tocilizumab is a monoclonal antibody approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which is a disease characterized by arthritis. So far, the efficacy of the drug in patients with covid is unclear.
“We now know that this drug helps all patients with low oxygen levels who already have advanced inflammation,” explains Peter hobby, an emerging diseases expert at Oxford University. “The combination of dexamethasone and tocilizumab is impressive and very popular,” the doctor added in a press release.
Recovery trials need time to find new treatments for diseases associated with sars-voc-2 infection. In this study, we analyzed the progress of more than 2000 patients treated with the drug and those treated with conventional treatment. The mortality rate was reduced by 4% in the monoclonal antibody group. This means that one out of every 25 patients treated is saved.
The drug, produced by Roche, a European pharmaceutical company, called actemra, also increases the chance of patients leaving hospital alive by 7%. These effects also apply to less severe patients who only need mask oxygen, and those who need mechanical ventilation in ICU. Combined with dexamethasone, the drug reduced mortality by 30% in the first group and nearly 50% in ICU patients.
This new treatment is effective when it is most needed: when the severe stage of cowid has begun, patients may fall into the inflammatory spiral produced by their own immune system, leading to death. The two drugs mentioned above are the only ones that have been shown to save covid’s life, and they have now been shown to shorten hospital stay and avoid mechanical respirators.
According to Oxford University, researchers have not yet released all the data for the study, but hope to do so in the next few days. A previous trial using the drug showed an 8% reduction in mortality among patients already in ICU.
Marcos L ó PEZ Hoyos, President of the Spanish immunology society, said: “tocilizumab is currently the most effective monoclonal antibody for the treatment of cytokine storm (uncontrolled inflammatory protein secretion in severe patients), and its benefits are not great, But given the few treatment tools we have, it’s a drug that has to be used in this situation, “he added.
Tocilizumab alone does not stop the cytokine storm. It works by binding to cells through the same input port as interleukin-6, one of the cytokines that cause serious diseases. This is one of the most abundant inflammatory proteins in critically ill patients. In this way, even if a patient produces a large amount of protein, its effect will be blocked by drugs. The innate immune system is the first line of defense against infection to promote inflammation.
“The reduction in mortality associated with any drug is good news because we have almost nothing,” stressed Jesus Sierra, registered coordinator of the Spanish hospital pharmacy Association (SEFH).
Sierra explained that monoclonal antibodies are the most expensive drugs in the world, but the price of tocilizumab treatment is relatively low, ranging from 850 to 1200 euros depending on the patient’s weight. If all seriously ill patients start taking the drug, it will cost 28000 euros for each life saved.
According to the data of the recovery trial itself, dexamethasone is the only treatment proved to be able to save the lives of patients with cowid. It is a very cheap corticosteroid. It can avoid 1 death in every 8 of the most serious patients and 1 death in every 25 of the patients receiving oxygen therapy.
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