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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 9 ( September, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Tocilizumab and COVID-19

Pawan K Singh

Citation Information : Singh PK. Tocilizumab and COVID-19. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (9):741-743.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23608

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 11-01-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


The number of cases in COVID-19 pandemic is rising rapidly. There has not been a single effective proven medication for COVID-19 disease. Highest mortality has been reported among subjects who develop acute respiratory disease (ARDS). The histopathological analysis of lung specimens has given rise to theories that propose the major role of cytokine release syndrome in the development of ARDS. IL-6 has often been found to be raised in subjects having severe disease. Tocilizumab is a selective inhibitor of the IL-6 pathway and has been approved for various rheumatological diseases. Its use in COVID-19 has been evaluated following the success of other immunosuppressive drugs like steroids. The data in support of against its use in COVID19 are lacking. Similarly, the risk of early- and late-onset infections after tocilizumab in COVID-19 remains unknown. The study by Nasa et al. is a valuable addition to the evidence concerning its use. Despite multiple articles, its safety and efficacy in COVID-19 remain unknown. Caution must be used about its timing and role of IL-6 levels for disease monitoring.

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