Notes From the Field: The Combined Effects of Tocilizumab and Remdesivir in a Patient With Severe COVID-19 and Cytokine Release Syndrome

Link to article at PubMed

JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2021 May 19;7(5):e27609. doi: 10.2196/27609.


SARS-CoV-2 is known to cause severe bilateral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome or COVID-19 in patients, which can be debilitating and even fatal. With no drugs or vaccines available yet, a wide range of treatment regimens used are being repurposed. The need of the hour is to analyze various currently available regimens and devise a treatment plan that is most effective for COVID-19. Here we describe the case of a 68-year-old man with hypertension and diabetes, exhibiting symptoms of cough and shortness of breath, who presented at the emergency department of our hospital. Chest computed tomography revealed bilateral ground glass opacities that were indicative of COVID-19, and a computed tomography score of 24 was indicative of severe pulmonary pneumonia. He tested positive for COVID-19. His treatment regimen included the use of convalescent plasma, oxygen therapy, steroids, high-dose antibiotics, broad-spectrum antiviral remdesivir, and anti-interleukin-6 monoclonal antibody (Tocilizumab) at various stages of the disease. Oxygen supplementation was required at the time of admission. The patient initially developed a cytokine release storm, and oxygen supplementation was initiated to manage his condition. Supportive care and multiple treatment regimens were used to successfully recover the patient's health. With a rapid increase in number of confirmed cases worldwide, COVID-19 has become a major challenge to our health care system. With no available vaccines currently, the establishment of a combination of therapeutic drugs that effectively reduce disease progression is of utmost importance.

PMID:34009133 | DOI:10.2196/27609

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