ARTHRITIS DRUG MAY AID CORONAVIRUS FIGHT
An arthritis drug may be a life-saving treatment for COVID-19 and could reduce the need for patients to be placed on ventilators, French doctors say.
They administered anakinra, an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, to 52 COVID-19 patients at Saint-joseph public hospital in Paris between March 24 and April 6.
The doctors compared their progress with that observed in a group of 44 historical coronavirus patients at the hospital who were not treated with the drug. Thirteen (25 per cent) of the patients injected subcutaneously with anakinra either died or had to be placed on ventilators, compared with 32 patients (73 per cent) in the historical group. However, the doctors warned: “Confirmation of efficacy will require controlled trials.”