OBJECTIVES: Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, immune modulators have been considered front-line candidates for the management of patients presenting with clinical symptoms secondary to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Although heavy emphasis has been placed on early clinical efficacy, we sought to evaluate the impact of pharmacologic approach to coronavirus disease 2019 within the ICU on secondary infections and clinical outcomes.

DATA SOURCES: PubMed (inception to March 2021) database search and manual selection of bibliographies from selected articles.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Articles relevant to coronavirus disease 2019, management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-associated respiratory failure, and prevalence of secondary infections with pharmacotherapies were selected. The MeSH terms "COVID-19," "secondary infection," "SARS-CoV-2," "tocilizumab," and "corticosteroids" were used for article identification. Articles were narratively synthesized for this review.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Current data surrounding the use of tocilizumab and/or corticosteroids for coronavirus disease 2019 management are limited given the short follow-up period and conflicting results between studies. Further complicating the understanding of immune modulator role is the lack of definitive understanding of clinical impact of the immune response in coronavirus disease 2019.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the current available literature, we suggest prolonged trials and follow-up intervals for those patients managed with immune modulating agents for the management of coronavirus disease 2019.

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Published in Critical Care Explorations, v. 3, issue 7, p e0492.

Copyright © 2021 The Authors

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

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