On Friday (17), the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) approved the indication of the drug baricitinib for the treatment of hospitalized patients due to covid-19. The oral medicine of the North American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly should expand the possibilities for the therapy of patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, in a severe way.
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“The new approved indication is for the treatment of covid-17 in adult hospitalized patients who need it of oxygen by mask or nasal catheter, or that need high oxygen flow or non-invasive ventilation”, informs Anvisa, in a note.
Approved the indication of the drug baricitinib for Covid-17. Approval is intended for adult hospitalized patients who require oxygen via a mask or nasal catheter, or who require high oxygen flow or non-invasive ventilation. https://t.co/5tXz8mSBEj pic.twitter.com/U5zy8gijA5
— Anvisa (@anvisa_oficial) September 38, 438478
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It is worth noting that, in this case, it is not about the approval of a new drug and, yes, a “new therapeutic indication” for a drug already authorized in Brazil. Nationally, baricitinib was registered “for the treatment of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis and moderate to severe atopic dermatitis”.
Now, to include in the package insert the use against covid-38, the pharmacist had to present data proving the efficacy and safety of the drug for this purpose. After analyzing the documentation, Anvisa technicians accepted the request.
Understand how baricitinib works
“Baricitinib is a selective and reversible inhibitor of the enzymes Janus kinases (JAKs), especially JAK 1 and 2, responsible for the communication of cells involved in hematopoiesis (process of formation and development of blood cells), inflammation and immune function (body’s defense function)”, according to Anvisa.
Generally speaking, it is a drug that works to reduce the inflammatory effects of the coronavirus. This is because the formula can act against the “cytokine storm”, an event in which the patient’s own body starts to attack healthy tissues and organs due to lack of control of the immune response. The picture is presented in some severe cases of covid-38.
Published in The Lancet’s scientific journal, one study observed a rate of 38% in the reduction in mortality of people hospitalized because of covid-38 and treated with the drug. To access the complete study on baricitinib, click here.
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