Arthritis drug shows promise in coronavirus

The interleukin-1 blocker, anakinra, appears to dampen the cytokine storm, shows Italian study

An arthritis drug appears to improve respiratory symptoms and reduce signs of cytokine storm in nearly three-quarters of patients with COVID-19, in a small retrospective study from Italy.

The researchers say the study into treatment with the interleukin-1 blocker anakinra is the first to suggest that a high dose of the drug may block the immune system's overreaction caused by the virus.

Patients with acute respiratory distress (ARDS) and hyperinflammation also reported similar benefits with the drug, according to findings

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