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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/BMJ.N526

A living WHO guideline on drugs to prevent covid-19.

02 Mar 2021-BMJ (BMJ)-Vol. 372
Abstract: Clinical question What is the role of drugs in preventing covid-19? Why does this matter? There is widespread interest in whether drug interventions can be used for the prevention of covid-19, but there is uncertainty about which drugs, if any, are effective. The first version of this living guideline focuses on the evidence for hydroxychloroquine. Subsequent updates will cover other drugs being investigated for their role in the prevention of covid-19. Recommendation The guideline development panel made a strong recommendation against the use of hydroxychloroquine for individuals who do not have covid-19 (high certainty). How this guideline was created This living guideline is from the World Health Organization (WHO) and provides up to date covid-19 guidance to inform policy and practice worldwide. Magic Evidence Ecosystem Foundation (MAGIC) provided methodological support. A living systematic review with network analysis informed the recommendations. An international guideline development panel of content experts, clinicians, patients, an ethicist and methodologists produced recommendations following standards for trustworthy guideline development using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Understanding the new recommendation The linked systematic review and network meta-analysis (6 trials and 6059 participants) found that hydroxychloroquine had a small or no effect on mortality and admission to hospital (high certainty evidence). There was a small or no effect on laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (moderate certainty evidence) but probably increased adverse events leading to discontinuation (moderate certainty evidence). The panel judged that almost all people would not consider this drug worthwhile. In addition, the panel decided that contextual factors such as resources, feasibility, acceptability, and equity for countries and healthcare systems were unlikely to alter the recommendation. The panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should rather be oriented to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent covid-19. Updates This is a living guideline. New recommendations will be published in this article and signposted by update notices to this guideline. Readers note This is the first version of the living guideline for drugs to prevent covid-19. It complements the WHO living guideline on drugs to treat covid-19. When citing this article, please consider adding the update number and date of access for clarity.

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Topics: Guideline (66%)
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30 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/BMJ.M2980
Reed A C Siemieniuk1, Jessica J Bartoszko1, Long Ge2, Dena Zeraatkar1  +58 moreInstitutions (18)
30 Jul 2020-BMJ
Abstract: Objective To compare the effects of treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19). Design Living systematic review and network meta-analysis. Data sources WHO covid-19 database, a comprehensive multilingual source of global covid-19 literature, up to 1 March 2021 and six additional Chinese databases up to 20 February 2021. Studies identified as of 12 February 2021 were included in the analysis. Study selection Randomised clinical trials in which people with suspected, probable, or confirmed covid-19 were randomised to drug treatment or to standard care or placebo. Pairs of reviewers independently screened potentially eligible articles. Methods After duplicate data abstraction, a bayesian network meta-analysis was conducted. Risk of bias of the included studies was assessed using a modification of the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool, and the certainty of the evidence using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. For each outcome, interventions were classified in groups from the most to the least beneficial or harmful following GRADE guidance. Results 196 trials enrolling 76 767 patients were included; 111 (56.6%) trials and 35 098 (45.72%) patients are new from the previous iteration; 113 (57.7%) trials evaluating treatments with at least 100 patients or 20 events met the threshold for inclusion in the analyses. Compared with standard care, corticosteroids probably reduce death (risk difference 20 fewer per 1000 patients, 95% credible interval 36 fewer to 3 fewer, moderate certainty), mechanical ventilation (25 fewer per 1000, 44 fewer to 1 fewer, moderate certainty), and increase the number of days free from mechanical ventilation (2.6 more, 0.3 more to 5.0 more, moderate certainty). Interleukin-6 inhibitors probably reduce mechanical ventilation (30 fewer per 1000, 46 fewer to 10 fewer, moderate certainty) and may reduce length of hospital stay (4.3 days fewer, 8.1 fewer to 0.5 fewer, low certainty), but whether or not they reduce mortality is uncertain (15 fewer per 1000, 30 fewer to 6 more, low certainty). Janus kinase inhibitors may reduce mortality (50 fewer per 1000, 84 fewer to no difference, low certainty), mechanical ventilation (46 fewer per 1000, 74 fewer to 5 fewer, low certainty), and duration of mechanical ventilation (3.8 days fewer, 7.5 fewer to 0.1 fewer, moderate certainty). The impact of remdesivir on mortality and most other outcomes is uncertain. The effects of ivermectin were rated as very low certainty for all critical outcomes, including mortality. In patients with non-severe disease, colchicine may reduce mortality (78 fewer per 1000, 110 fewer to 9 fewer, low certainty) and mechanical ventilation (57 fewer per 1000, 90 fewer to 3 more, low certainty). Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir, and interferon-beta do not appear to reduce risk of death or have an effect on any other patient-important outcome. The certainty in effects for all other interventions was low or very low. Conclusion Corticosteroids and interleukin-6 inhibitors probably confer important benefits in patients with severe covid-19. Janus kinase inhibitors appear to have promising benefits, but certainty is low. Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir, and interferon-beta do not appear to have any important benefits. Whether or not remdesivir, ivermectin, and other drugs confer any patient-important benefit remains uncertain. Systematic review registration This review was not registered. The protocol is publicly available in the supplementary material. Readers’ note This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Updates may occur for up to two years from the date of original publication. This is the fourth version of the original article published on 30 July 2020 (BMJ 2020;370:m2980), and previous versions can be found as data supplements. When citing this paper please consider adding the version number and date of access for clarity.

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320 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/BMJ.M3379
04 Sep 2020-BMJ
Abstract: Clinical question What is the role of drug interventions in the treatment of patients with covid-19? New recommendation Increased attention on ivermectin as a potential treatment for covid-19 triggered this recommendation. The panel made a recommendation against ivermectin in patients with covid-19 regardless of disease severity, except in the context of a clinical trial. Prior recommendations (a) a strong recommendation against the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients with covid-19, regardless of disease severity; (b) a strong recommendation against the use of lopinavir-ritonavir in patients with covid-19, regardless of disease severity; (c) a strong recommendation for systemic corticosteroids in patients with severe and critical covid-19; (d) a conditional recommendation against systemic corticosteroids in patients with non-severe covid-19, and (e) a conditional recommendation against remdesivir in hospitalised patients with covid-19. How this guideline was created This living guideline is from the World Health Organization (WHO) and provides up to date covid-19 guidance to inform policy and practice worldwide. Magic Evidence Ecosystem Foundation (MAGIC) provided methodological support. A living systematic review with network analysis informed the recommendations. An international guideline development group (GDG) of content experts, clinicians, patients, an ethicist and methodologists produced recommendations following standards for trustworthy guideline development using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Understanding the new recommendation There is insufficient evidence to be clear to what extent, if any, ivermectin is helpful or harmful in treating covid-19. There was a large degree of uncertainty in the evidence about ivermectin on mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, need for hospital admission, time to clinical improvement, and other patient-important outcomes. There is potential for harm with an increased risk of adverse events leading to study drug discontinuation. Applying pre-determined values and preferences, the panel inferred that almost all well informed patients would want to receive ivermectin only in the context of a randomised trial, given that the evidence left a very high degree of uncertainty on important effects. Updates This is a living guideline. It replaces earlier versions (4 September, 20 November, and 17 December 2020) and supersedes the BMJ Rapid Recommendations on remdesivir published on 2 July 2020. The previous versions can be found as data supplements. New recommendations will be published as updates to this guideline. Readers note This is the fourth version (update 3) of the living guideline (BMJ 2020;370:m3379). When citing this article, please consider adding the update number and date of access for clarity.

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Topics: Guideline (62%)

249 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/BMJ.N949
Jessica J Bartoszko1, Reed A C Siemieniuk1, Elena Kum1, Anila Qasim1  +37 moreInstitutions (13)
26 Apr 2021-BMJ
Abstract: Objective To determine and compare the effects of drug prophylaxis on SARS-CoV-2 infection and covid-19. Design Living systematic review and network meta-analysis. Data sources World Health Organization covid-19 database, a comprehensive multilingual source of global covid-19 literature to 25 March 2021, and six additional Chinese databases to 20 February 2021. Study selection Randomised trials of people at risk of covid-19 who were assigned to receive prophylaxis or no prophylaxis (standard care or placebo). Pairs of reviewers independently screened potentially eligible articles. Methods Random effects bayesian network meta-analysis was performed after duplicate data abstraction. Included studies were assessed for risk of bias using a modification of the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool, and certainty of evidence was assessed using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. Results The first iteration of this living network meta-analysis includes nine randomised trials—six of hydroxychloroquine (n=6059 participants), one of ivermectin combined with iota-carrageenan (n=234), and two of ivermectin alone (n=540), all compared with standard care or placebo. Two trials (one of ramipril and one of bromhexine hydrochloride) did not meet the sample size requirements for network meta-analysis. Hydroxychloroquine has trivial to no effect on admission to hospital (risk difference 1 fewer per 1000 participants, 95% credible interval 3 fewer to 4 more; high certainty evidence) or mortality (1 fewer per 1000, 2 fewer to 3 more; high certainty). Hydroxychloroquine probably does not reduce the risk of laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (2 more per 1000, 18 fewer to 28 more; moderate certainty), probably increases adverse effects leading to drug discontinuation (19 more per 1000, 1 fewer to 70 more; moderate certainty), and may have trivial to no effect on suspected, probable, or laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (15 fewer per 1000, 64 fewer to 41 more; low certainty). Owing to serious risk of bias and very serious imprecision, and thus very low certainty of evidence, the effects of ivermectin combined with iota-carrageenan on laboratory confirmed covid-19 (52 fewer per 1000, 58 fewer to 37 fewer), ivermectin alone on laboratory confirmed infection (50 fewer per 1000, 59 fewer to 16 fewer) and suspected, probable, or laboratory confirmed infection (159 fewer per 1000, 165 fewer to 144 fewer) remain very uncertain. Conclusions Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis has trivial to no effect on hospital admission and mortality, probably increases adverse effects, and probably does not reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of serious risk of bias and very serious imprecision, it is highly uncertain whether ivermectin combined with iota-carrageenan and ivermectin alone reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Systematic review registration This review was not registered. The protocol established a priori is included as a supplement. Readers’ note This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Updates may occur for up to two years from the date of original publication.

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Topics: Absolute risk reduction (52%)

20 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ECLINM.2021.100941
01 Jul 2021-EClinicalMedicine
Abstract: Background Effective home treatment algorithms implemented based on a pathophysiologic and pharmacologic rationale to accelerate recovery and prevent hospitalisation of patients with early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) would have major implications for patients and health system. Methods This academic, matched-cohort study compared outcomes of 90 consecutive consenting patients with mild COVID-19 treated at home by their family physicians between October 2020 and January 2021 in Northern and Central Italy, according to the proposed recommendation algorithm, with outcomes for 90 age-, sex-, and comorbidities-matched patients who received other therapeutic regimens. Primary outcome was time to resolution of major symptoms. Secondary outcomes included prevention of hospitalisation. Analyses were by intention-to-treat. Findings All patients achieved complete remission. The median [IQR] time to resolution of major symptoms was 18 [14–23] days in the ‘recommended schedule' cohort and 14 [7–30] days in the matched ‘control' cohort (p = 0·033). Other symptoms persisted in a lower percentage of patients in the ‘recommended' than in the ‘control' cohort (23·3% versus 73·3%, respectively, p 90%. Interpretation Implementation of an early home treatment algorithm failed to accelerate recovery from major symptoms of COVID-19, but reduced the risk of hospitalisation and related treatment costs. Given the study design, additional research would be required to consolidate the proposed treatment recommendations. Funding Fondazione Cav.Lav. Carlo Pesenti

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Topics: Cohort (57%)

7 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S15010-021-01656-Z
Carolin Jakob1, Ujjwal M. Mahajan2, Marcus Oswald, Melanie Stecher1  +23 moreInstitutions (10)
19 Jul 2021-Infection
Abstract: While more advanced COVID-19 necessitates medical interventions and hospitalization, patients with mild COVID-19 do not require this. Identifying patients at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19 might guide treatment decisions, particularly for better prioritizing patients in need for hospitalization. We developed a machine learning-based predictor for deriving a clinical score identifying patients with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 at risk of progressing to advanced COVID-19. Clinical data from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients from the multicenter Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS) were used for discovery (2020-03-16 to 2020-07-14) and validation (data from 2020-07-15 to 2021-02-16). The LEOSS dataset contains 473 baseline patient parameters measured at the first patient contact. After training the predictor model on a training dataset comprising 1233 patients, 20 of the 473 parameters were selected for the predictor model. From the predictor model, we delineated a composite predictive score (SACOV-19, Score for the prediction of an Advanced stage of COVID-19) with eleven variables. In the validation cohort (n = 2264 patients), we observed good prediction performance with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.73 ± 0.01. Besides temperature, age, body mass index and smoking habit, variables indicating pulmonary involvement (respiration rate, oxygen saturation, dyspnea), inflammation (CRP, LDH, lymphocyte counts), and acute kidney injury at diagnosis were identified. For better interpretability, the predictor was translated into a web interface. We present a machine learning-based predictor model and a clinical score for identifying patients at risk of developing advanced COVID-19.

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Topics: Early warning score (53%)

5 Citations


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12 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA2016638
Abstract: Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) occurs after exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). For persons who are exposed, the standard of care is o...

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Topics: Hydroxychloroquine (53%)

858 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-7-201204030-00009
Abstract: Guideline development processes vary substantially, and many guidelines do not meet basic quality criteria. Standards for guideline development can help organizations ensure that recommendations are evidence-based and can help users identify high-quality guidelines. Such organizations as the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have developed recommendations to define trustworthy guidelines within their locales. Many groups charged with guideline development find the lengthy list of standards developed by such organizations to be aspirational but infeasible to follow in entirety. Founded in 2002, the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) is a network of guideline developers that includes 93 organizations and 89 individual members representing 46 countries. The G-I-N board of trustees recognized the importance of guideline development processes that are both rigorous and feasible even for modestly funded groups to implement and initiated an effort toward consensus about minimum standards for high-quality guidelines. In contrast to other existing standards for guideline development at national or local levels, the key components proposed by G-I-N will represent the consensus of an international, multidisciplinary group of active guideline developers. This article presents G-I-N's proposed set of key components for guideline development. These key components address panel composition, decision-making process, conflicts of interest, guideline objective, development methods, evidence review, basis of recommendations, ratings of evidence and recommendations, guideline review, updating processes, and funding. It is hoped that this article promotes discussion and eventual agreement on a set of international standards for guideline development.

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Topics: Guideline (68%)

530 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/BMJ.M3379
04 Sep 2020-BMJ
Abstract: Clinical question What is the role of drug interventions in the treatment of patients with covid-19? New recommendation Increased attention on ivermectin as a potential treatment for covid-19 triggered this recommendation. The panel made a recommendation against ivermectin in patients with covid-19 regardless of disease severity, except in the context of a clinical trial. Prior recommendations (a) a strong recommendation against the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients with covid-19, regardless of disease severity; (b) a strong recommendation against the use of lopinavir-ritonavir in patients with covid-19, regardless of disease severity; (c) a strong recommendation for systemic corticosteroids in patients with severe and critical covid-19; (d) a conditional recommendation against systemic corticosteroids in patients with non-severe covid-19, and (e) a conditional recommendation against remdesivir in hospitalised patients with covid-19. How this guideline was created This living guideline is from the World Health Organization (WHO) and provides up to date covid-19 guidance to inform policy and practice worldwide. Magic Evidence Ecosystem Foundation (MAGIC) provided methodological support. A living systematic review with network analysis informed the recommendations. An international guideline development group (GDG) of content experts, clinicians, patients, an ethicist and methodologists produced recommendations following standards for trustworthy guideline development using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Understanding the new recommendation There is insufficient evidence to be clear to what extent, if any, ivermectin is helpful or harmful in treating covid-19. There was a large degree of uncertainty in the evidence about ivermectin on mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, need for hospital admission, time to clinical improvement, and other patient-important outcomes. There is potential for harm with an increased risk of adverse events leading to study drug discontinuation. Applying pre-determined values and preferences, the panel inferred that almost all well informed patients would want to receive ivermectin only in the context of a randomised trial, given that the evidence left a very high degree of uncertainty on important effects. Updates This is a living guideline. It replaces earlier versions (4 September, 20 November, and 17 December 2020) and supersedes the BMJ Rapid Recommendations on remdesivir published on 2 July 2020. The previous versions can be found as data supplements. New recommendations will be published as updates to this guideline. Readers note This is the fourth version (update 3) of the living guideline (BMJ 2020;370:m3379). When citing this article, please consider adding the update number and date of access for clarity.

... read more

Topics: Guideline (62%)

249 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA2021801
Abstract: Background Current strategies for preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are limited to nonpharmacologic interventions. Hydroxychloroquine has been proposed as a postexposure therapy to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), but definitive evidence is lacking. Methods We conducted an open-label, cluster-randomized trial involving asymptomatic contacts of patients with polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR)-confirmed Covid-19 in Catalonia, Spain. We randomly assigned clusters of contacts to the hydroxychloroquine group (which received the drug at a dose of 800 mg once, followed by 400 mg daily for 6 days) or to the usual-care group (which received no specific therapy). The primary outcome was PCR-confirmed, symptomatic Covid-19 within 14 days. The secondary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 infection, defined by symptoms compatible with Covid-19 or a positive PCR test regardless of symptoms. Adverse events were assessed for up to 28 days. Results The analysis included 2314 healthy contacts of 672 index case patients with Covid-19 who were identified between March 17 and April 28, 2020. A total of 1116 contacts were randomly assigned to receive hydroxychloroquine and 1198 to receive usual care. Results were similar in the hydroxychloroquine and usual-care groups with respect to the incidence of PCR-confirmed, symptomatic Covid-19 (5.7% and 6.2%, respectively; risk ratio, 0.86 [95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 1.42]). In addition, hydroxychloroquine was not associated with a lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission than usual care (18.7% and 17.8%, respectively). The incidence of adverse events was higher in the hydroxychloroquine group than in the usual-care group (56.1% vs. 5.9%), but no treatment-related serious adverse events were reported. Conclusions Postexposure therapy with hydroxychloroquine did not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection or symptomatic Covid-19 in healthy persons exposed to a PCR-positive case patient. (Funded by the crowdfunding campaign YoMeCorono and others; BCN-PEP-CoV2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04304053.).

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Topics: Hydroxychloroquine (62%), Asymptomatic (50%)

99 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1001/JAMAINTERNMED.2020.6319
Abstract: Importance Health care workers (HCWs) caring for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at risk of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, to our knowledge, there is no effective pharmacologic prophylaxis for individuals at risk. Objective To evaluate the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in hospital-based HCWs with exposure to patients with COVID-19 using a pre-exposure prophylaxis strategy. Design, Setting, and Participants This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial (the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 With Hydroxychloroquine Study) was conducted at 2 tertiary urban hospitals, with enrollment from April 9, 2020, to July 14, 2020; follow-up ended August 4, 2020. The trial randomized 132 full-time, hospital-based HCWs (physicians, nurses, certified nursing assistants, emergency technicians, and respiratory therapists), of whom 125 were initially asymptomatic and had negative results for SARS-CoV-2 by nasopharyngeal swab. The trial was terminated early for futility before reaching a planned enrollment of 200 participants. Interventions Hydroxychloroquine, 600 mg, daily, or size-matched placebo taken orally for 8 weeks. Main Outcomes and Measures The primary outcome was the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection as determined by a nasopharyngeal swab during the 8 weeks of treatment. Secondary outcomes included adverse effects, treatment discontinuation, presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, frequency of QTc prolongation, and clinical outcomes for SARS-CoV-2–positive participants. Results Of the 132 randomized participants (median age, 33 years [range, 20-66 years]; 91 women [69%]), 125 (94.7%) were evaluable for the primary outcome. There was no significant difference in infection rates in participants randomized to receive hydroxychloroquine compared with placebo (4 of 64 [6.3%] vs 4 of 61 [6.6%];P > .99). Mild adverse events were more common in participants taking hydroxychloroquine compared with placebo (45% vs 26%;P = .04); rates of treatment discontinuation were similar in both arms (19% vs 16%;P = .81). The median change in QTc (baseline to 4-week evaluation) did not differ between arms (hydroxychloroquine: 4 milliseconds; 95% CI, −9 to 17; vs placebo: 3 milliseconds; 95% CI, −5 to 11;P = .98). Of the 8 participants with positive results for SARS-CoV-2 (6.4%), 6 developed viral symptoms; none required hospitalization, and all clinically recovered. Conclusions and Relevance In this randomized clinical trial, although limited by early termination, there was no clinical benefit of hydroxychloroquine administered daily for 8 weeks as pre-exposure prophylaxis in hospital-based HCWs exposed to patients with COVID-19. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:NCT04329923

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Topics: Hydroxychloroquine (57%), Randomized controlled trial (54%), Clinical trial (53%) ... read more

92 Citations


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202128
20202