Sotrovimab is recommendeda for patients who contracted Covid-19 without seriousness but with a high risk of hospitalization, although its benefit in patients who are not at risk is too low.
As for baricitinib, it is recommended for “patients suffering from severe or critical Covid“, and you have to give them this medicine “combined with corticosteroids.” In these patients, that “improves the survival rate and reduces the need to undergo mechanical ventilation.”
Until now, the WHO recommended three treatments: synthetic antibodies sold under the name “Ronapreve”, since September 2021; a class of drugs called “interleukin 6 antagonists” (tocilizumab and sarilumab), since July 2021; and systematic corticosteroids for seriously ill patients, since September 2020.
Sotrovimab affects the same type of patients as Ronapreve. “Its effectiveness against new variants such as Ómicron is still uncertain,” the WHO experts clarified, however.
Likewise, baricitinib “has the same effects” as interleukin 6 antagonists and should be administered to the same type of patient. “When both are available” it is necessary to choose which of the two to use “according to cost, availability and the experience of health professionals”, the experts affirmed.
Baricitinib belongs to a family of drugs called “Janus kinase inhibitors” and It is used against rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease.
The other drugs in this family (ruxolitinib and tofacitinib) should not be used against Covid, the specialists considered, due to a lack of data on their efficacy or side effects.
The WHO regularly updates its recommendations for treatments against Covid-19, based on clinical trials carried out with different types of patients.