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Baricitinib May Shorten Recovery Time in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Adding anti-inflammatory drug to remdesivir seems to shorten time to hospital discharge

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MONDAY, Sept. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Using an anti-inflammatory medicine along with the antiviral drug remdesivir appears to shorten COVID-19 patients' recovery time, according to drug company Eli Lilly.

Remdesivir -- from Gilead Sciences -- has previously been shown to reduce recovery time to an average of four days. Patients who also received Lilly's anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib (sold as Olumiant to treat rheumatoid arthritis) recovered one day sooner than those who took remdesivir alone, according to the company, the Associated Press reported. Recovery is defined as being well enough to leave the hospital.

The findings from the 1,000-person study, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, were released Monday. The study has not been published or reviewed by independent scientists, but U.S. health officials said Lilly's statement about the results was accurate, the AP reported.

The possible emergency use of baricitinib for hospitalized COVID-19 patients will be discussed with U.S. regulators, Lilly said.

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