The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended on Thursday, 13, two new drugs to treat covid-19, one for patients with critical illness and another for non-serious cases.
The first drug, baricitinib, a drug used to treat autoimmune diseases, blood and bone marrow cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the WHO Guideline Development group, the drug is “strongly recommended” for patients with severe or critical illness in combination with corticosteroids.
The recommendation also includes the use of the monoclonal antibody sotrovimab for patients who do not have serious medical conditions but are at increased risk of hospitalization.
The international expert group based its recommendation on “moderate certainty evidence” that it improves survival and reduces the need for ventilation. There was no observed increase in adverse effects.
Effect of medications
Baricitinib, which has already been approved by Anvisa in the treatment of hospitalized patients with covid-19, acts to block the inflammatory actions of the virus.
The drug is restricted to the hospital environment and cannot be acquired without medical advice.
Sotrovimab, which acts against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, is designed to block the virus from binding to entry into human cells. The drug is also restricted to hospital environments and its application is intravenous, with a single dose restricted to 500 mg.
The drug has also been approved by Anvisa for emergency use since September 9.