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New treatment plan for COVID-19 patients proven to reduce patients’ hospital stay

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 11:10 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Researchers at the University of Florida are studying a treatment option for COVID-19 patients that consists of the antiviral drug Remdesivir and the anti-inflammatory drug Barcitinib. Doctors at UF Health said it is proving to be effective. The question is, how and why was this combination chosen.

“Dr. Iovine and I were part of an advisory council of investigators, researchers from all over the world, not just the United States, and here is over 140 of us,” said Dr. Marie-Carmelle Elie, an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care at UF Health. “Sit on this council, and we vet different agents or different candidates that we felt might be able to combat COVID.”

This treatment is helping people in other areas as well.

“People who got the Barcitinib also had fewer infections, which is really, really interesting. Also, had fewer other adverse events,” said Dr. Nicole Iovine, the Chief Epidemiologist at UF Health.

According to Dr. Iovine, the study showed the more severely-ill patients left the hospital if they received both drugs.

“People who got the combination got out of the hospital quicker, and it was really dramatic. A dramatic difference in the more severely-il patients, they got out of the hospital in about 10 days, versus 18 days for the ones that did not get Barcitinib.”

Leaving the hospital sooner helps prevent further problems.

“People can develop complications with additional infection from being in the hospital,” explained Dr. Iovine. “So, getting out of the hospital is very important for the individual. It’s also really important for the health care system.”

An early exit from the hospital can also help with lingering effects.

“We already understand those patients that have been in the hospital for several weeks versus several days are the ones that are having more trouble recovering long term from having COVID-19,” said Dr.Elie.

Even though there are potential treatment options available for COVID-19, both doctors still encourage everyone to consider the vaccine. To find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

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