As India’s Covid-19 caseload crossed 8 lakh on Saturday, adding one lakh cases in four days, the government sounded caution on the use of Remdesivir injectable formulation permitted for restricted use in case of patients on oxygen support.
The ICMR today told states that Remdesivir has to be used with extreme caution due to its potential to have serious adverse effects, including liver and kidney injury.
A similar warning was sounded for Tocilizumab, which is also permitted for use on Covid patients with poor oxygen indicators. “These drugs are permitted only for restricted emergency use. Their indiscriminate use or use in conditions for which they are not desirable may cause more harm than good,” the ICMR said.
Available evidence for Remdesivir suggests it may decrease the time needed for clinical improvement in moderate to severe cases, but does not reduce mortality.
Similarly, Tocilizumab studies have not shown any benefits in mortality reduction. However, if used for patients with severe conditions, proper informed consent is required. Rampant use is to be discouraged since the effect of the drug is directed at the “cykotine storm”, added the official.
The ICMR caution came as India saw another record daily increase of 27,114 cases that took Covid-19 count to 8,20,916 with 22,123 deaths. There were 519 mortalities in 24 hours.