Are Interleukin-6 Inhibitors Proving Effective Against COVID-19?
Remdesivir, an experimental medicine being used to treat coronavirus conditions and Dexamethasone, a steroid, are a couple of the treatments being tested against COVID-19. However, it seems that Interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors, typically used on patients that experience rheumatoid arthritis, are proving more effective, if given at the right time, from observational studies.
Patients with severe cases of COVID-19 can experience excessive inflammation that increases breathing difficulties due to their immune systems going into overdrive. IL-6 is being used in an attempt to prevent this. IL-6 targets immune signaling molecules, cytokines, in order to diminish an excessive immune response, which could lead to fatal respiratory distress syndrome.
The trick is that for IL-6 to be beneficial, it needs to be administered at just the right time. If given too early, it could impair the body’s antiviral response. If given too late, after the cytokine-mediated immune response has begun to damage tissues, it may prove completely ineffective. For this potential treatment, timing is key.