Another drug has been added to the arsenal to assist in the fight against the Covid19 pandemic.
Interleukin-6 receptor blockers have received World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health approval to treat severely and critically ill Covid19 patients.
A statement released by the WHO, said interleukin-6 receptor blockers can suppress an overreaction often produced in the immune system of Covid patients who are severely ill. This includes drugs such as tocilizumab and sarilumab.
Speaking at Saturday’s news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, Dr Michelle Trotman, Thoracic Medical Director at the Caura Hospital, announced that these drugs were approved for use in Trinidad and Tobago. Thus far, she said such drugs were administered to one Covid19 patient.
She said, “…We are living in exciting times, that the WHO has approved the use of a drug to help save Covid19 patients, manage patients who are critically ill. That drug is available and I am actually very happy to report that the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has approved guidelines that have already allowed us to administer this drug to one such patient. The drugs that we are talking about… it is a drug that can only be given once, through the veins, for those patients that the clinicians will select and can make a difference.”
“I am also to remind that the Ministry further advises that the following drugs have not received WHO approval for use and therefore in Trinidad and Tobago they are not authorized in the treatment of COVID-19. These drugs are remdesivir, Ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. I am asked by the CMO that with the media release even as we jump on these new drugs, that these other drugs are not authorized at this time,” she said.