New Delhi: Treating severe COVID-19 patients with the arthritis drug tocilizumab along with standard care is no better than standard care alone in improving clinical outcomes at 15 days, says the results of a trial which was stopped early due to increased number of deaths among those receiving the drug.
The findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal The BMJ, noted that there was an increased number of deaths at 15 days in severe COVID-19 patients receiving tocilizumab — contradicting earlier observational studies suggesting a benefit of the drug.
However, the scientists, including those from Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo in Brazil, said these contradictory effects need to be assessed in future studies.
They explained that the drug blocks a specific part of the immune system — interleukin 6 — that can go into overdrive in some COVID-19 patients.
While tocilizumab was thought to help lessen the body’s inflammatory response to the virus and avert dire consequences of the disease, the study said the drug’s effects are not well defined.
In the research, the scientists conducted a clinical trial comparing tocilizumab plus standard care with standard care alone in patients admitted to hospital with severe or critical COVID-19.
Their findings are based on 129 adults (average age of 57 years) with confirmed COVID-19 at nine hospitals in Brazil between 8 May and 17 July 2020.
The patients received supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation and had abnormal levels of at least two molecules linked to inflammation in their blood.
They were randomly divided into two groups — 65 who received tocilizumab plus standard care, and 64 who received standard care alone.
Other factors, such as underlying conditions and use of other medication, were taken into account and all patients were monitored for 15 days, the study noted.
By day 15, the scientists said 18 patients in the tocilizumab group and 13 in the standard care group were receiving mechanical ventilation or died.
They said death at 15 days occurred in 11 patients in the tocilizumab group compared with two in the standard care group.
Since the increased number of deaths in the tocilizumab group raised safety concerns, the trial was stopped early, the researchers added.
In both groups, they said deaths were attributed to COVID-19 related acute respiratory failure or multiple organ dysfunction.
Citing the limitations of the study, the researchers said the sample size of the trial was small, which could affects the chances of detecting a true effect.
However, they added that the results were consistent after adjusting for levels of respiratory support needed by patients at the start of the trial.
The researchers concluded that in patients with severe or critical COVID-19, “tocilizumab plus standard care was not superior to standard care alone in improving clinical status at 15 days and might increase mortality.” (PTI)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
New generation ICD with latest technology implanted at SSH Jammu
Arthritis drug no better than standard care for severe COVID-19, says study
People shouldn’t hesitate to get vaccinated, listen to scientists: Delhi’s 1st COVID patient
COVID-19 ICU patients at risk of acute brain dysfunction, says study
Highlights of RBI monetary policy announcements
Economic growth will only move upwards: Shaktikanta Das
RBI lowers inflation projection to 5.20% for Q4 FY21, sees it around 5pc in H1 next fiscal
RBI projects GDP growth rate of 10.5 pc for FY’22
RBI keeps policy rate unchanged fourth time in a row
Download?10Cric Casino app, and enjoy Indias most popular casino games, directly on your mobile!
Gamble with real money online! Play Indias favourite casino games at 7Jackpots.com, Indias most trusted online casino site.
© 2020 State Times Daily Newspaper | Powered by Ideogram Technology Solutions [P] Ltd.