(AP)–Doctors are reporting a two-drug treatment is helpful for COVID-19 patients who need extra oxygen. Adding the anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib to the antiviral medicine remdesivir helped these patients recover eight days sooner than for those given remdesivir alone. The study involved more than 1,000 people with the coronavirus. The medicines have been recommended since September.
Full results published by the New England Journal of Medicine show the benefit was greater for those needing oxygen or other respiratory support short of a breathing machine.
Serious side effects and new infections also were fewer in the combo treatment group. One of the drugs treats rheumatoid arthritis and an overreacting immune system, which can lead to serious problems in some coronavirus patients.