Role of Tocilizumab in Fighting COVID-19
Author(s): Anuttam Arijit Pani and Abhishek Joshi*
Background: Tocilizumab is the repurposed drug used in the severely ill COVID-19 patients. A lot of traction has gain over the drug but more studies are awaited to ensure the efficacy of the drug with proper backing from empirical data. Tocilizumab, a drug which is used in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis suddenly came into limelight when it got listed as drugs used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. As earlier discussed, many existing drugs which were already in use for treating other ailments were being tested if they are suitable to treat COVID-19 disease. Tocilizumab have the anti-inflammatory properties which were in particular were useful in COVID-19 which creates an inflammation all across the organs. Summary: COVID-19 is the novel disease outbreak later progressed into deadly pandemic has presented the huge challenge to contain it clinically as no drug was available prior the outbreak of the disease. Vast amount of drugs can be used to at least suppress the viral spread which was found to be true. Although it was not hundred percent foolproof but it was an emergency situation and various drugs were used according to local ground conditions and patients response to the drug along with age and severity of the illness. Tocilizumab was one such drug which was repurposed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Many drugs such as Hydroxycholoroquine (HCQ), Tocilizumab were repurposed from their existing use. Tocilizumab is currently used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Various studies have shown the efficacy of the drug among the severely ill COVID-19 patients which ranges up to 66 percent. In certain cases worsening of the existing medical condition has been observed. Conclusion: Vaccine nationalism must be set aside and low and middle income countries where most of the population of the world resides, should be vaccinated as even one case can culminate into another disaster as was seen during highly contagious COVID-19. More empirical data is needed from across the globe to ensure the assessment of the efficacy of the drug. Also certain cases of shortage of the said drug for non-COVID-19 purpose also looked into seriously has it can create a parallel disaster.