A COMMONLY USED arthritis drug could prove to be a vital weapon in the fight against Covid-19.
Health authorities around the world are scrambling to find suitable and effective treatments for the deadly coronavirus, which has killed over 5,000 people since the outbreak began in December.
Recently, arthritis medicine has been used on coronavirus patients in Italy, producing "excellent results".
The thinking behind using the medicine is that it could help patients' immune systems by and stop the virus form attacking healthy cells.
Drugs which treat immune disorders like arthritis could help ease damage to the lungs and respiratory system caused by the immune system's overreaction to the Covid-19 virus, rather than killing it.
The drug in question, called Kevzara, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2017 to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
An Italian hospital has confirmed that the drug "has shown it is effective against pneumonia caused by COVID-19."
One of the two patients treated - who was on life support - was taken off it last week because of the improvement in his condition.
The hospital said it had started treating two other patients with the virus on Tuesday and another two Wednesday.