In the midst of Omicron outbreak, WHO recommended two new drugs for COVID-19 treatment
Today`s recommendations are based on new evidence from seven trials involving over 4,000 patients with non-severe, severe, and critical covid-19 infection
On Friday, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Guideline Development Group suggested that patients with severe or critical COVID-19 be treated with baricitinib and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in combination with corticosteroids (January 14, 2022).
"Today`s recommendations are based on new evidence from seven trials involving over 4,000 patients with non-severe, severe, and critical covid-19 infection," the group said in the British Medical Journal, reported Sputnik.
Trials have shown that combining corticosteroids with baricitinib and IL-6, two Janus kinase inhibitors (JAKs) used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, improves survival and decreases the requirement for pulmonary ventilation while having no increased side effects.
"When both are available, they suggest choosing one based on cost, availability, and clinician experience. It is not recommended to use both drugs at the same time," the experts said, reported the news agency.
Furthermore, the experts cautioned against using ruxolitinib and tofacitinib, two other JAK inhibitors, for COVID-19 patients in a severe or critical condition, because limited trials have shown little benefit and there is a risk of major adverse effects.
In patients with mild COVID-19, the WHO's guideline update also advised the use of monoclonal antibody medicines such sotrovimab and casirivimab/imdevimab, but only in those at the highest risk of hospitalisation. There isn't enough data to advocate one type of monoclonal antibody treatment over another, according to the experts.