Five-day use of this drug could benefit people with severe COVID-19

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In a new study, researchers found that there is no big difference between a five- and 10-day use of remdesivir for people with severe COVID-19 not requiring mechanical ventilation.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Washington in Seattle.

The team did a phase 3 clinical trial involving hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection, oxygen saturation of 94% or less, and radiologic evidence of pneumonia.

A total of 397 patients were assigned to receive remdesivir for either five or 10 days.

The team found that patients assigned to the 10-day group had much worse clinical status at baseline compared with those randomly assigned to the five-day group.

They found that by day 14, clinical improvement of 2 points or more on the ordinal scale occurred in 64% and 54% of patients in the five- and 10-day groups, respectively.

Patients in the 10-day group had a distribution in clinical status at day 14 that was similar to that among patients in the five-day group after adjustment for baseline clinical status.

The team says in the current era of limited remdesivir supplies, priority should be given to a five-day remdesivir regimen for patients at the early stages of severe disease since the evidence for benefit is clearest in this population.

The study was funded by Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of remdesivir.

The lead author of the study is Jason D. Goldman, M.D., M.P.H. from the University of Washington in Seattle.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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