Tocilizumab

This information was put together in the very early days of the pandemic, and while largely still accurate, there are likely to be various minor inaccuracies, as the science has significantly advanced since that time. This information has been preserved for historical archiving purposes only, and must not be construed to be medical advice. While finding good doctors can be a challenge in this environment, there are multiple specialty telemed services available that will provide accurate, useful COVID-19 evaluation and treatment, beyond the useless guidelines presently being pushed by most ordinary providers. Always speak to your doctor before changing or stopping any treatment regimen.

This information was put together in the very early days of the pandemic, and while largely still accurate, there are likely to be various minor inaccuracies, as the science has significantly advanced since that time. This information has been preserved for historical archiving purposes only, and must not be construed to be medical advice. While finding good doctors can be a challenge in this environment, there are multiple specialty telemed services available that will provide accurate, useful COVID-19 evaluation and treatment, beyond the useless guidelines presently being pushed by most ordinary providers. Always speak to your doctor before changing or stopping any treatment regimen.

Tocilizumab is a drug that inhibits the IL-6 inflammatory cytokine, and is in use in severe and critical COVID patients. In the late stages of the disease, the immune system may be responsible for more damage than the virus itself; large quantities of inflammatory cytokines are released by the immune system, which attack indiscriminately, causing extensive cell damage, inflammation and death, which can be the killing blow against an already suffering patient.

While it is useful against cytokine storms, and it has saved lives, the drug is an inhibitor of immune response. It does not directly attack the virus; it rather prevents the body overreacting and self-destructing. The virus is still free to continue attacking the body unless this drug is used in combination with other treatments.