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Some Immunosuppressants Do Not Increase Covid-19 Risk: Scientists

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Treatments that suppress the immune system of people with inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis “do not significantly increase the risk of developing Covid-19.”

Dermatologists at Henry Ford Health System in the United States, who treat a large number of patients with inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, and lupus, found that most of these patients are not at higher risk for Covid-19 than the general population. State their weakened immune system.

Patients with immunosuppression are more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and can cause coughing, runny nose, and sore throat, but scientists have said that this patient population has ever been Covid-19. Has not been reported to be at high risk.

Published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the study was one of the first to analyze the association between immunosuppressive drugs for skin diseases and the risk and outcome of Covid-19 infection, according to researchers.

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“If you need an immunosuppressive drug to better control your condition, you’re afraid to continue it during a pandemic,” said Jesse Venstra, a dermatologist and lead author of the study at Henry Ford. It shouldn’t be. “

Researchers have so far little is known about managing patients with these medications in a pandemic, and whether they are at high risk of Covid-19 infection, or because their immune system is weakened. Mentioned whether there are any complications associated with.

In the current study, they conducted a retrospective analysis of 213 patients who were taking immunosuppressive drugs for immune-mediated inflammatory disease.

They tested patients who had been on immunosuppressive drugs for at least a month before being tested for Covid-19 from February 1st to April 18th.

The study found that 36% of 213 patients were Covid-19-positive and were less likely to be hospitalized or placed on a ventilator than the general population.

Scientists said they could not find evidence that administration of immunosuppressive drugs increased the odds of testing patients for positive or serious illness.

The study found that patients who were prescribed TNF alpha inhibitors, which are part of the immunosuppressive class of protein treatment, were significantly less likely to be hospitalized.

On the contrary, Beanstra said patients on a multidrug regimen were more likely to be hospitalized than those taking a single drug.

He added that further research is needed to fully explain this finding.

Citing the limits of the study, scientists pointed out that the findings may not be easily generalized to other communities because they are single-center studies.

They added that only patients tested for Covid-19 were analyzed in the study.

However, researchers believe the findings suggest that multiple drugs further suppress the patient’s immune system, thereby making them more sensitive to Covid-19. ..

“Traditionally, you consider these drugs to have a higher risk of infection,” Veenstra said.

“With Covid-19, this is a new type of pathogen, and no one knows how these drugs affect the ability of the immune system to cope with infections,” he added.

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