COVID-19 Evidence Alerts
from McMaster PLUSTM

Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)

Primary Prevention Cardwell K, O Murchu E, Byrne P, et al. Pharmacological interventions to prevent Covid-19 disease: A rapid review. Rev Med Virol. 2021 Sep 28:e2299. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2299.
Abstract

The aim of this rapid review was to determine the effectiveness of pharmacological interventions (excluding vaccines) to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) or reduce the severity of disease. A systematic search of published peer-reviewed articles and non-peer-reviewed pre-prints was undertaken from 1 January 2020 to 17 August 2021. Four randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and one non-RCT were included; three trials (two RCTs and one non-RCT) tested ivermectin with or without carrageenan. While all reported some potential protective effect of ivermectin, these trials had a high risk of bias and the certainty of evidence was deemed to be 'very low'. One RCT tested bamlanivimab compared to placebo and reported a significantly reduced incidence of Covid-19 in the intervention group; this trial had a low risk of bias however the certainty of evidence was deemed 'very low'. The fifth RCT tested casirivimab plus imdevimab versus placebo and reported that the combination of monoclonal antibodies significantly reduced the incidence of symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, viral load, duration of symptomatic disease and the duration of a high viral load; this trial was deemed to have a low risk of bias, and the certainty of evidence was 'low'. The designations 'low' and 'very low' regarding the certainty of evidence indicate that the estimate of effect is uncertain and therefore is unsuitable for informing decision-making. At the time of writing, there is insufficient high quality evidence to support the use of pharmacological interventions to prevent Covid-19.

Ratings
Discipline / Specialty Area Score
Public Health
Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP)
General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)
Infectious Disease
Comments from MORE raters

Infectious Disease rater

The trials included in this systematic review were already known by most clinicians dealing with covid patients. It has some value by making clear the low level of certainty associated with these drugs for prevention.