Clinicians turn to cocktail of drugs for severe Covid-19 cas
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Clinicians across the country are using a combination of treatments to prevent COVID-19 and deaths among people with moderate to severe symptoms.

The treatment varies from drugs, oxygen support to using steroids to manage developing complications, to plasma therapy for more severe cases.

“With the approval of several therapies, we have found a combination of therapies given at the right time gives a good result,” said Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, group medical director, Max Healthcare.

“We may have to use a single drug or a cocktail of drugs depending on the severity of the infection or the patient’s medical condition. Not every patient needs remdesivir or steroids. We need to assess the patient’s requirement and change the medicines accordingly,” said Dr Raja Rao, superintendent of Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital.

“We have been administering methylprednisolone for Covid-19 since April and the response is quite promising. Alongside, we have recently started using dexamethasone, which has helped save many lives,” said Dr Daksha Shah, deputy health officer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

“The steroids start showing immediate effect within six to twelve hours. The effect of plasma kicks in within 24 to 36 hours, and the effect of remdesivir within 48 to 72 hours,” said Dr Budhiraja.

If conditions of patients deteriorate despite these treatments, they are given immunomodulators, such as the rheumatoid arthritis drug tocilizumab or psoriasis drug itolizumab.

"The virus may cause a cytokine storm, and secondary bacterial infections may lead to disease severity and death, so we give heparin to prevent clotting, steroids and anti-IL6 drugs to prevent a cytokine storm, and broad-spectrum antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections,” said Dr BK Tripathi, head of the department of medicine at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.

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