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Tocilizumab Reduces COVID-19 Mortality When Given Early in Inflammatory Process

According to a recent study, tocilizumab does not appear to prevent the progression of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to critical disease, but it may still be useful in seriously unwell individuals when taken early in the inflammatory stage.

Tocilizumab Reduces COVID-19 Mortality When Given Early in Inflammatory Process
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A retrospective study was undertaken on 140 individuals with moderate to severe COVID-19, of whom 79 were administered tocilizumab in varied standard doses (400 mg, 400–800 mg, >800 mg). The medicine was given at three different stages: viral (1–7 days following beginning of symptoms), early inflammatory (8–15 days), and late inflammatory (16 days). Mortality, respiratory assistance needs, and inflammatory markers were among the outcomes.

Individuals who got any additional dose of tocilizumab had no significant improvement in mortality when compared to COVID-19 patients who received standard treatment (enoxaparin + 6-mg dexamethasone once a day).

When the tocilizumab group was subdivided further based on disease severity and medication administration timing, the researchers discovered a substantial survival benefit among extremely ill patients who took the therapy early in the inflammatory stage (4.1 percent versus 25.7 percent; p=0.03). Those who received the 400–800 mg dose of tocilizumab had a similar reduction in death risk (3.7 percent vs 25.7 percent; p=0.01).

"These findings show that COVID-19 may have a broad clinical spectrum that is poorly understood, and that the efficacy of tocilizumab may vary depending on the clinical presentation, and particularly the COVID-19 stage." More research is needed to completely comprehend such phenomena in order to tailor medication to various clinical presentations, according to the researchers.

Source: Sci Rep 2021;11:19728

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