Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)
INTRODUCTION: Treatment effects of antiviral agents, glucocorticoids, antibiotics, and intravenous immunoglobulin are controversial in patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of drug therapy on the risk of death in patients with COVID-19.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and major preprint platforms were searched to retrieve articles till 7 April 2020. The effects of specific drug interventions on mortality were assessed in COVID-19 patients. Odds ratios (ORs) and Risk Ratios (RRs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled using random-effects models.
RESULTS: Of 3421 references, six studies were included. Pooled results from retrospective studies revealed that antiviral agents may contribute to survival benefit (OR, 0.42, 95% CI, 0.17-0.99, p=0.048, I2=82.8%), while the RCT found no effects of antiviral agent on mortality (RR 0.77, 95% CI, 0.45-1.30, p=0.33). Glucocorticoids usage leads to an increased risk of death (OR 2.43, 95% CI, 1.44-4.10, p=0.001, I2=61.9%). Antibiotics intervention did not significantly affect mortality (OR 1.13, 95% CI, 0.67-1.89, p=0.64, I2=0%). Likewise, intravenous immunoglobulin had non-significant effects on mortality (OR 2.66, 95% CI, 0.72-9.89, p=0.14, I2=93.1%).
CONCLUSIONS: With the varied heterogeneities across interventions, the current evidence indicated a probable survival benefit of antiviral agent usage and a harmful effect of glucocorticoids in patients with COVID-19. None of antibiotics or intravenous immunoglobulin usage was associated with survival benefit in patients with COVID-19.
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