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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 226-228

Can emapalumab be life saving for refractory, recurrent, and progressive cytokine storm caused by COVID-19, which is resistant to anakinra, tocilizumab, and Janus kinase inhibitors

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Ota and Jinemed Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
2 Department of Rheumatology, Meram Tip Faculty, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey
3 Department of Biochemistry, Private Kucukcekmece Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Erkan Cure
Department of Internal Medicine, Ota and Jinemed Hospital, Muradiye Mahallesi Nuzhetiye Cad, Deryadil Sokagi No: 1, Istanbul 34357
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijp.IJP_615_20

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Although many potent drugs have been used for cytokine storm, mortality is high for patients with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), which is followed up in the intensive care unit. Interferons (IFNs) are the major cytokines of the antiviral defense system released from many cell types. However, IFN-γ plays a key role in both primary and secondary cytokine storms. If the cytokine storm is not treated urgently, it will be fatal; therefore, it should be treated immediately. Anakinra, an interleukin-1 (IL-1) antagonist, tocilizumab, an IL-6 antagonist, and Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are successfully used in cytokine storm caused by COVID-19. However, sometimes, despite these treatments, the patient's clinical course does not improve. Emapalumab (Eb) is the human immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody and is a potent and noncompetitive antagonist of IFN-γ. Eb can be life saving for cytokine storm caused by COVID-19, which is resistant to anakinra, tocilizumab, and JAK inhibitors.


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