A committee appointed by Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi to review new drugs has recommended Remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus. The drug has been making headlines with many health experts across the world recommending it for treatment of COVID-19. Remdesivir was originally used to treat Ebola patients.
The committee is chaired by Dr MK Daga, the director professor of the Department of Medicine at the hospital. Remdesivir should not be administered with Hydroxychloroquine as it interferes with the action of the former, Dr Raga had pointed out in his report filed on June 29, according to The Times of India.
Dr Daga and the other senior doctors also evaluated other candidates for COVID-19 treatment drugs such as Favipiravir, Tocilizumab, Ivermectin and even plasma therapy. Favipiravir is an antiviral medication which has been developed in Japan. Though it is already has been used in some hospitals in India, the committee has recommended against it because of the lack of data to support its efficacy at the moment.
The committee has recommended Tocilizumab for those patients who are suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of the disease. "Patients to be carefully monitored for secondary infections and neutropenia," the committee said, according to the daily. It is also recommended for patients who have extensive and bilateral lung disease on X-Ray and CT scan among others.
While plasma therapy is recommended for patients with extremely severe COVID-19 infection, it has to be administered within seven days of the onset of the infection, But the committee has also said that plasma therapy should not be administered to patients with co-morbidities, those younger than 18, those older than 60 years, pregnant women, obese individuals and those with a history of allergy to plasma.
"We have used Remdesivir in a few cases and the results are positive so far. Plasma therapy has been conducted on about 20 patients and most of them are doing fine," Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak hospital, said.
The hospital is currently conducting clinical trials to assess the effects of plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients, the trails will involve 400 patients out of which 200 will be given plasma while the other 200 will receive normal treatment.