The World Health Organization on Friday approved two new Covid-19 treatments, increasing the arsenal of equipment with vaccines to prevent serious illness and death from the virus.
The news comes as the Omicron case fills hospitals around the world. The WHO predicts that half of Europe will be infected by March.
In their recommendation to the British medical journal The BMJ, WHO experts say that the arthritis drug baricitinib used with corticosteroids to treat severe or severe covid patients reduces the survival rate and the need for ventilators.
Experts recommend the synthetic antibody treatment Sotrovimab for people with non-significant covid at the highest risk of hospitalization, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases such as immunodeficiency or diabetes.
The benefits of SotroviMab for people who are not at risk of hospitalization were considered trivial, and the WHO said its effectiveness against new forms such as Omicron was “still uncertain.”
Only three other treatments for Covid-19 have been WHO approved, starting in September 2020 with corticosteroids for critically ill patients.
Corticosteroids are cheap and widely available and fight inflammation which is usually sudden in severe cases.
The arthritis drugs Tosilizumab and Sarilumab, approved by the World Health Organization in July, are IL-6 inhibitors that suppress the immune system’s dangerous response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Baricitinib is a different class of drug known as Janus kinase inhibitors, but it falls under the same guidelines as IL-6 inhibitors.
“When both are available, choose one based on the problem, including the cost and experience of the clinician,” says the guide.
Synthetic antibody treatment Regeneron was approved by the WHO in September and guidelines state that Sotrovimab may be used for similar patients.
WHO’s Covid treatment recommendations are regularly updated based on new data from clinical trials.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)