Antiviral drugs cannot reduce death risk in COVID-19, study shows

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In a new study, researchers found that For hospitalized patients with COVID-19, remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and interferon regimens seem to have little to no effect on mortality.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

In the study, the team examined in-hospital mortality in four comparisons of each of four drugs (remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and interferon beta-1a) and its control among inpatients with COVID-19.

A total of 11,330 adults at 405 hospitals in 30 countries were assigned to treatment.

The researchers found that at midway through treatment, adherence was 94% to 96%. In total, there were 1,253 deaths reported.

The rate ratios for deaths were 0.95 for patients receiving remdesivir versus control; 1.19 for patients receiving hydroxychloroquine versus control; 1.00 for patients receiving lopinavir versus control; and 1.16 for patients receiving interferon versus control.

None of the four antiviral drugs reduced in-hospital mortality, use of ventilation, or duration of hospitalization.

The team says these findings suffice to refute early hopes, based on smaller studies, that any of these drugs will effectively reduce COVID-19 mortality the use of mechanical ventilation, or hospitalization duration.

One author of the study is Hongchao Pan, Ph.D.

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

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