Infectious Complications After Tocilizumab in Patients with COVID: A Real-World Experience

Link to article at PubMed

J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2023 Jan 10;13(1):11-19. doi: 10.55729/2000-9666.1141. eCollection 2023.


INTRODUCTION: Controversies remain regarding the safety of tocilizumab in the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In this study, we seek to describe the infectious complications after tocilizumab in COVID patients and determine the related risk factors.

METHODS: A single-center retrospective observational study was conducted among adult patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted between 06/01/2020 and 12/31/2021 who received tocilizumab at our institution. Baseline demographics and laboratory values are obtained through reviewing electronic medical records. Risk factors of infectious complications after tocilizumab are identified through regression analysis. Statistics are performed using SPSS. P-value <0.05 is considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Out of the 52 patients identified, infectious complications after tocilizumab were documented in 30 patients (57.7%). The most common infections include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and bacteremia of unknown sources. Overall mortality was 42.3%. Through multivariate regression analysis, age more than 65, hyperglycemia on admission, and tocilizumab administration more than 2 days after hospital admission are independent risk factors associated with developing infections.

CONCLUSIONS: In real-world experience, infectious complications are not uncommon in COVID patients who receive tocilizumab. Early use of tocilizumab may be of benefit. More rigorous patient selection and monitoring should be explored in future studies.

PMID:36817306 | PMC:PMC9924625 | DOI:10.55729/2000-9666.1141

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