Amidst the reeling onslaught of Omicron variant across the world, in its latest Covid-19 guideline, the World Health Organization (WH0) has recommended two new drugs namely baricitinib and sotrovimab to treat Coronavirus patients.
Baricitinib, which is currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has now been strongly recommended for Coronavirus patients who are suffering from extremely severe Coronavirus. The drug is to be administered along with corticosteroids. The drug is found to be effective in suppressing the overstimulation of the immune system which has been reported as the major cause for mortality among Covid-19 patients.
On the other hand Sotrovimab which has been developed by pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline with US partner Vir Biotechnology Inc, is amonoclonal antibody drug. The drug is suitable for use in treating symptoms and conditions caused by the virus. The apex health body has said that the drug is of immense use for patients who have mild or moderate symptoms of Coronavirus and are at a considerably higher risk of hospitalisation. The patients who could be administered this drug include elderly, immunocompromised, and patients suffering from comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Availability of Covid-19 drugs in India
Covid-19 drug Baricitinib is considerably cheaper and widely available and has already been in use to control hyper inflammation. In Coronavirus patients the hyper inflammation usually begins between days 7 and 14 after the onset of symptoms. Dr Amit Dravid, who is an infectious diseases consultant told the Indian Express that inflammation is a stage at which patients start becoming breathless. He also said that in case the hospitalisation of Covid-19 patients increase during the current wave, there is an alternative in the form of baricitinib.
The second drug recently recommended by the WHO Sotrovimab is not available in the country at the moment. However, health experts have maintained that currently most of the cases are being caused by the Omicron variant and monoclonal antibodies should be used only after ascertaining that the person has been infected by the more dangerous delta variant.