Arthritis drug shows promise in severe cases

A repurposed arthritis drug has shown positive results in a clinical trial of patients hospitalised with Covid-19, according to a paper published in the New England journal of Medicine.

Tofacitinib, taken orally and sold under the brand name Xeljanz among others, was tested in a trial of 289 patients hospitalised with severe Covid across 15 locations in Brazil.

Halfvreceived the drug a 10mg pill twice a day and standard care like glucocorticoids that tamp down an overactive immune immune response, while the other half received a placebo and standard care. After 28 days, 18.1% of the group receiving the tofacitinib progressed to respiratory failure or death, compared to 29% in the placebo group.

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