Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)
Introduction: Bromhexine is a potential therapeutic option in COVID-19, but no data from a randomized clinical trial has been available. The present study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of bromhexine in intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and mortality in patients with COVID-19. Methods: An open-label randomized clinical trial study was performed in Tabriz, North-West of Iran. They were randomized to either the treatment with the bromhexine group or the control group, in a 1:1 ratio with 39 patients in each arm. Standard therapy was used in both groups and those patients in the treatment group received oral bromhexine 8 mg three times a day additionally. The primary outcome was a decrease in the rate of ICU admissions, intubation/mechanical ventilation, and mortality. Results: A total of 78 patients with similar demographic and disease characteristics were enrolled. There was a significant reduction in ICU admissions (2 out of 39 vs. 11 out of 39, P = 0.006), intubation (1 out of 39 vs. 9 out of 39, P = 0.007) and death (0 vs. 5, P = 0.027) in the bromhexine treated group compared to the standard group. No patients were withdrawn from the study because of adverse effects. Conclusion: The early administration of oral bromhexine reduces the ICU transfer, intubation, and the mortality rate in patients with COVID-19. This affordable medication can easily be administered everywhere with a huge positive impact(s) on public health and the world economy. Altogether, the verification of our results on a larger scale and different medical centers is strongly recommended. Trial Registration: IRCT202003117046797N4; https://irct.ir/trial/46969.
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I have not heard of this therapy, and this data warrants at least an active discussion in COVID-19 treatment teams as cases increase.
The inference of this study is limited by its small sample.
In this very interesting study, the use of an old drug (just as the BCG and tuberculosis) may offer new treatment opportunities. This is to be tested on a larger scale.