The effectiveness of the best combination between different antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs stills an interest in the treatment of COVID19 infection.
Patients and methods:
A prospective randomized cohort study comprised 108 adult patients with confirmed PCR COVID 19 infection with systemic hyper inflammation state, divided into two groups according to the treatment regimen, 56 in the tocilizumab- hydroxychloroquine (TCZ-HCQ) treatment, and 52 in the tocilizumab-remdesivir (TCZ-RMV) treatment. The first group received a combination of I.V. TCZ (400-800 mg every 24 h for only two doses) and HCQ (400 mg twice in the first day then 200 mg twice for 5 days) while the second group of patients received I.V. RMV of 200 mg on day 1 followed by 100 mg once daily infused over 60 min for 5 days with the same TCZ regimen used in the first group. All clinical parameters and laboratory investigations were assessed before and after treatment.
The CRP was significantly decreased while PaO2/FiO2 (P/F) ratio post-treatment was significantly improved in both treatment groups. TCZ-HCQ group showed a significant decrease in the ferritin, LDH, and D. Dimer levels. The median days of hospitalization with interquartile range (IQR) were 10 (6-16) and 8 (5-12) for TCZ-HCQ and TCZ-RMV groups, respectively. The numbers of mechanically ventilated patients were 25 and 43 for TCZ-HCQ and TCZ-RMV groups, respectively. Therapeutic failure was about 26.8% in the TCZ-HCQ group and 30.8% in the TCZ-RMV group but there was no significant difference between both groups. Some complications were recognized only in TCZ-RMV following treatment including secondary bacterial infections (42.3%), myocarditis (15.4%), and finally pulmonary embolism (7.7%).
Efficacy of both TCZ-RMV and TCZ-HCQ combinations are observed in the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients; however the increased need for ICU or mechanical ventilation in the TCZ-RMV arm contributed to the appearance of cardiac and thrombotic events. The study was registered at the Clinical Trials registry (ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT04779047).
Anti-inflammatory; Antiviral; COVID-19; Cytokine storm; Hydroxychloroquine; Remdesivir; Tocilizumab.