World Health Organization (WHO) officially recommended this Friday two new treatments against COVID-19 in very precise cases, bringing the total of these drugs to five.
In a report published in the medical journal The BMJ, WHO experts recommend a treatment based on synthetic antibodies, the sotrovimab, and a general medicine used against rheumatoid polyarthritis, the baricitinib.
But those medicines are not intended for just any patient.
The sotrovimab It is recommended for patients who contracted COVID-19 without severity but with a high risk of hospitalization. Its benefit in patients who are not at risk is too low.
Regarding the baricitinib, it is recommended for “Patients suffering from a severe or critical covid”, and you have to administer that medicine “Combined with corticosteroids”.
In those patients, that “Improves survival rate and reduces the need for mechanical ventilation”.
Until now, the WHO recommended three treatments: synthetic antibodies sold under the name “Ronapreve”, since September 2021; a class of drugs called “interleukin 6 antagonists” (tocilizumab and sarilumab), since July 2021; and routine corticosteroids for critically ill patients, since September 2020.
Sotrovimab affects the same type of patients as Ronapreve. “Its efficacy against new variants such as omicron is still uncertain “, however, WHO experts clarified.
Also, baricitinib “Has the same effects” than interleukin 6 antagonists and should be administered to the same type of patient.
“When both are available” you have to choose which of the two to use “Based on the cost, availability and experience of healthcare professionals”, affirmed the experts of the WHO.
The baricitinib belongs to a family of medicines called “Janus kinase inhibitors” and it is used against rheumatoid polyarthritis, an autoimmune disease.
However, the other drugs in that family (ruxolitinib and tofacitinib) should not be used against COVID-19, the specialists considered, due to lack of data on their effectiveness or on their side effects.
The WHO It regularly updates its COVID-19 treatment recommendations, based on clinical trials conducted with different types of patients.
However, the therapeutic arsenal continues to be reduced. In recent months, the WHO rejected the use of several treatments: the injection of plasma from patients cured of COVID-19, ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine.