An existing type of arthritis drug may reduce the risk of dying for elderly patients with Covid-19, according to an international study, led by scientists at Imperial College London and the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and published in the journal Science Advances.
The drug, baricitinib, is usually used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Using artificial intelligence, Imperial team initially identified it as a drug that could have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
In the early-stage international study, 83 patients with moderate to severe Covid-19 infection were given the drug. They were in multiple hospitals across Italy and Spain. Those given the drug were found to have a 71 per cent reduced risk of dying compared to patients who had not taken the drug.
The study also found that 17 per cent of patients who were given the drug died or needed to go on a ventilator, compared to 35 per cent in the control group who were not given the medication.
The research team said the findings are being followed up with largescale clinical trials.
Source: Imperial College Londonx
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