Involvement of interleukin 6 in SARS-CoV-2 infection: siltuximab as a therapeutic option against COVID-19

Eur J Hosp Pharm. 2020 Jun 4;ejhpharm-2020-002322. doi: 10.1136/ejhpharm-2020-002322. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to explore the involvement of interleukin 6 in SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to position the drug siltuximab in the management of severe forms of COVID-19. A bibliographic search was performed in Pubmed on the immune response to the disease, and in ClinicalTrials.gov on clinical trials with interleukin 6 blockers. Interleukin 6 is involved in the cytokine cascade, which originates as a consequence of an excessive immune response secondary to viral infection, aggravating lung affectation. Blockers of this cytokine (tocilizumab, sarilumab and siltuximab) are being studied as a strategy for treating the disease. Siltuximab is a monoclonal antibody indicated in Castleman's disease that could be administered in a single dose of 11 mg/kg in severe forms of COVID-19 that have increased interleukin 6.

Keywords: clinical pharmacy; hospital pharmacy education; immunology; infectious diseases; intensive & critical care.