ARTHRITIS drug could be a lifesaver for COVID Patients according to new research.
Tocilizumab is normally used to treat arthritis, but a new use has been found for the drug that could potentially save lives. According to experts the use of tocilizumab could save one life for every 25 COVID patients treated, when used with a steroid that is already given routinely.
The drug is not cheap but could save lives and is far less expensive than a day in an ICU bed. According to the trial not only does the drug improve survival rates and recovery times, it can also prevent patients from needing an ICU bed.
A clinical trial has been carried out with 4000 patients, one of which was Wendy Coleman aged 62, who received treatment at Chesterfield Royal Hospital where she was severely affected with the coronavirus. Wendy said that, “I was struggling to breathe quite badly and on the verge of being placed in an intensive care unit.
“After I was given tocilizumab, my condition stabilised and I didn’t get any worse. Up until then, it was quite scary as I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not”
The clinical trial used tocilizumab in combination with dexamethasone which is a cheap steroid drug.
Intensive care medic Dr Charlotte Summers, who works at Cambridgeshire’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital shared her thoughts on the possible new treatment and said, “These findings are a tremendous step forwards. This therapy looks like it keeps people out of the intensive care unit so they never need to see people like me which can only be a good thing.”
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