WHO recommends two new treatments against Covid – 14/01/2022 – Equilíbrio e Saúde

The WHO (World Health Organization) has officially recommended two new treatments against Covid-19 in very specific cases, bringing the total of these drugs to five.

In a report to be published this Friday (14) in the medical journal The BMJ, WHO experts recommend a treatment based on synthetic antibodies, sotrovimab, and a drug commonly used against rheumatoid polyarthritis, baricitinib.

But these drugs are not intended for just any patient.

Sotrovimab is recommended for patients who have contracted Covid without seriousness, but with a high risk of hospitalization. Its benefit for patients not at this risk is very low.

As for baricitinib, it is recommended for “patients with severe or critical Covid” and the drug should be administered “combined with corticosteroids”.

In these patients, its intake “improves the survival rate and reduces the need to undergo mechanical ventilation.”

Until now, the WHO recommended three treatments: synthetic antibodies, sold under the name “Ronapreve”, since September 2021; a type of drug called “interleukin 6 antagonists” (tocilizumab and sarilumab), since July 2021; and systematic corticosteroids for critically ill patients, since September 2020.

Sotrovimab treats the same type of patients as Ronapreve. “Its effectiveness against new variants, such as the omicron, is still uncertain,” said the WHO experts.

Baricitinib “has the same effects” as interleukin 6 antagonists and should be given to the same type of patient.

“When both are available”, it is necessary to choose which of the two to use “depending on cost, availability and the experience of health professionals”, said the WHO experts.

Baricitinib belongs to a family of drugs called “Janus kinase inhibitors” and is used against rheumatoid polyarthritis, an autoimmune disease.

However, the other drugs in this family (ruxolitinib and tofacitinib) should not be used against Covid, experts considered, due to lack of data on their effectiveness or on their side effects.

The WHO regularly updates its Covid treatment recommendations, based on clinical trials carried out with different types of patients.

However, the therapeutic arsenal is still reduced. In recent months, the WHO has rejected the use of several treatments: the injection of plasma from patients cured of Covid-19, ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

About Abhishek Pratap

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