JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The Role of Tocilizumab in Cytokine Storm and Improving Outcomes in COVID-19.

To date, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV- 2) has infected millions of individuals worldwide. This virus causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and has led to numerous deaths worldwide. A large percentage of infected patients present asymptomatically, augmenting the spread of the virus. Symptomatic COVID-19 commonly causes mild to severe respiratory disease and fever, but some individuals experience serious complications resulting in death. Immune compromised, high risk, and elderly individuals are at an increased risk of more severe consequences of the illness such as respiratory failure, organ dysfunction, and shock. Cytokine storm (also known as cytokine release syndrome (CRS)), a systemic inflammatory response that can be triggered by an infection, has been associated with the symptom progression of COVID-19. This review evaluates several published studies that have implemented tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6 receptor antibody (US20120253016A1), in COVID-19 treatment. Outcomes and biomarkers of patients treated with TCZ are compared to patients treated with standard of care regimens. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a prominent inflammatory cytokine involved in CRS in various inflammatory conditions, may have a vital role in the underlying mechanism involved in debilitating SARS-CoV-2 infections and could serve as a viable treatment target. Studies suggest that TCZ may aid in the recovery of patients with COVID-19 and reduce mortality.

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