Calgary Herald - - WORLD -

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.”

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