COVID-19 Evidence Alerts
from McMaster PLUSTM

Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)

Treatment Huang D, Yu H, Wang T, et al. Efficacy and safety of umifenovir for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Med Virol. 2020 Jul 3. doi: 10.1002/jmv.26256.

We conducted this systemic review and meta-analysis in an attempt to evaluate the efficacy and safety of umifenovir in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and medRxiv database. We included both retrospective and prospective studies. The mean difference (MD) and risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were applied to assess the effectiveness of umifenovir for COVID-19. A total of 12 studies with 1052 patients were included in our final studies. Compared with control group, umifenovir was associated with higher negative rate of PCR on day 14 (RR:1.27; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.55). However, umifenovir is not related to nucleus acid negative conversion time (MD: 0.09; 95% CI: -1.48 to 1.65), negative rate on day 7 (RR:1.09; 95% CI: 0.91 to 1.31), incidence of composite endpoint (RR:1.20; 95% CI: 0.61 to 2.37), rate of fever alleviation on day 7 (RR:1.00; 95% CI: 0.91 to 1.10), rate of cough alleviation on day 7 (RR:1.00; 95% CI: 0.85 to 1.18), or hospital length of stay (MD: 1.34; 95% CI: -2.08 to 4.76). Additionally, umifenovir was safe in COVID-19 patients (RR for incidence of adverse events: 1.29; 95% CI: 0.57 to 2.92). The results of sensitivity analysis and subgroup analysis were similar to pooled results. There is no evidence to support the use of umifenovir for improving patient-important outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

Discipline / Specialty Area Score
Infectious Disease
Intensivist/Critical Care
Hospital Doctor/Hospitalists
Internal Medicine
Comments from MORE raters

Infectious Disease rater

This is a well conducted systematic review. The methodology is correct.

Intensivist/Critical Care rater

This kind of evidence is very timely and valid at a time when there multiple medical therapies been used to address the infections during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is very important to highlight and report on the negative findings and trials with equivocal results.

Respirology/Pulmonology rater

Meta-analysis of a number of studies done in China found no clinical benefit in the use of umifenovir for treating Covid-19. The strength of the studies was limited, as discussed by the authors. Better prospective studies will need to be done to give a better idea of the potential utility of this drug.