The benefit was in addition to those of dexamethasone and tocilizumab, two other anti-inflammatory treatments which have previously been shown to reduce the risk of death in these patients.
The University of Oxford-led RECOVERY trial has been testing a range of potential treatments for patients admitted to hospital for COVID-19 since March 2020. Between February and December 2021, 4008 patients randomly allocated to usual care alone were compared with 4148 patients who were randomly allocated to usual care plus baricitinib. The dose of baricitinib tablets was 4mg once daily for 10 days (or until discharge from hospital if sooner). At randomisation, 95% of patients were receiving a corticosteroid such as dexamethasone, 23% were receiving tocilizumab, and 20% were receiving the anti-viral drug remdesivir. Two-thirds (68%) of patients were receiving oxygen and one quarter (27%) were receiving additional respiratory support.