Anti-Inflammation for COVID

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The answer is safe and powerful anti-inflammatory agents: this steroid nebulizer or the anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

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Combination Therapy Quells COVID-19 Cytokine Storm

Damian McNamara

July 24, 2020

Treatment with high-dose methylprednisolone plus tocilizumab (Actemra, Genentech) as needed was associated with faster respiratory recovery, a lower likelihood of mechanical ventilation, and fewer in-hospital deaths compared with supportive care alone among people with COVID-19 experiencing a hyperinflammatory state known as a cytokine storm.

Compared with historic controls, participants in the treatment group were 79% more likely to achieve at least a two-stage improvement in respiratory status, for example.

“COVID-19-associated cytokine storm syndrome [CSS] is an important complication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection in up to 25% of the patients,” lead author Sofia Ramiro, MD, PhD, told Medscape Medical News.

Furthermore, CSS often leads to death in this population, said Ramiro, a consultant rheumatologist and senior researcher at Leiden University Medical Center and Zuyderland Medical Center in Heerlen, the Netherlands.

Results of the COVID High-Intensity Immunosuppression in Cytokine Storm Syndrome (CHIC) study were published online July 20 in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Contrary to Guidance?

Interestingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautions against administering corticosteroids to some critically ill patients with COVID-19. “WHO recommends against the routine use of systemic corticosteroids for treatment of viral pneumonia,” they note in an interim guidance document on the clinical management of COVID-19 published May 27.

Ramiro and colleagues make a distinction, however, noting “the risk profile of such a short course of glucocorticoid for treatment of CSS needs to be separated from pre-existing chronic use of glucocorticoid for conditions like rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.”

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