A study from the University of Oxford revealed that the combined administration of two medications: tocilizumab and dexamethasone can reduce in a third the deaths in patients COVID-19.
These effects were noted in people with hypoxia (who need oxygen) and had more severe symptoms. The results further indicated that this therapy shortens recovery time and decreases the need for mechanical ventilation.
The essay is part of Recovery, which summarizes the results of potential coronavirus treatments.
What is Tocilizumab?
It is a drug for rheumatoid arthritis. It’s based on intravenous anti-inflammatory monoclonal antibodies. It is produced by Roche pharmaceutical company under the name Actemra. It is approved to treat cytokine release syndrome, a severe immune response derived from cancer treatments and is related to coronavirus.
Therefore, since July 2020 it was verified in a study conducted by the University of Michigan which could reduce COVID patients’ chances of dying by 45%. However, new evidence speaks of the effectiveness of this drug in conjunction with Dexamethasone.
The Dexamethasone, meanwhile, it is a systemic steroid which has also previously shown a positive effect on seriously ill people.
COVID Drug Combination Exceeds Expectations
The study phase included 2,022 COVID-19 patients who received intravenous Tocilizumab, while 82% of them were already taking Dexamethasone.
Although each drug alone has a great beneficial contribution, together they reduced deaths by 50%.
Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at Oxford University, said: “We now know that benefits of tocilizumab they reach all COVID patients with low oxygen levels and significant inflammation. The double impact of the Dexamethasone and Tocilizumab it is impressive and very welcome ”.
Professor of Epidemiology Martin Landray, summarized the results: “they clearly show the benefits of Tocilizumab and Dexamethasone in curbing the worst consequences of COVID – they improve survival, shorten hospital stay and reduce the need for mechanical ventilators. When used in combination, the impact is substantial. This is great news for patients and health services around the world ”.