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BMJ ; 372: n526, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112324


CLINICAL QUESTION: What is the role of drugs in preventing covid-19? WHY DOES THIS MATTER?: There is widespread interest in whether drug interventions can be used for the prevention of covid-19, but there is uncertainty about which drugs, if any, are effective. The first version of this living guideline focuses on the evidence for hydroxychloroquine. Subsequent updates will cover other drugs being investigated for their role in the prevention of covid-19. RECOMMENDATION: The guideline development panel made a strong recommendation against the use of hydroxychloroquine for individuals who do not have covid-19 (high certainty). HOW THIS GUIDELINE WAS CREATED: This living guideline is from the World Health Organization (WHO) and provides up to date covid-19 guidance to inform policy and practice worldwide. Magic Evidence Ecosystem Foundation (MAGIC) provided methodological support. A living systematic review with network analysis informed the recommendations. An international guideline development panel of content experts, clinicians, patients, an ethicist and methodologists produced recommendations following standards for trustworthy guideline development using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. UNDERSTANDING THE NEW RECOMMENDATION: The linked systematic review and network meta-analysis (6 trials and 6059 participants) found that hydroxychloroquine had a small or no effect on mortality and admission to hospital (high certainty evidence). There was a small or no effect on laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (moderate certainty evidence) but probably increased adverse events leading to discontinuation (moderate certainty evidence). The panel judged that almost all people would not consider this drug worthwhile. In addition, the panel decided that contextual factors such as resources, feasibility, acceptability, and equity for countries and healthcare systems were unlikely to alter the recommendation. The panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should rather be oriented to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent covid-19. UPDATES: This is a living guideline. New recommendations will be published in this article and signposted by update notices to this guideline. READERS NOTE: This is the first version of the living guideline for drugs to prevent covid-19. It complements the WHO living guideline on drugs to treat covid-19. When citing this article, please consider adding the update number and date of access for clarity.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Chemoprevention , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Risk Assessment , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chemoprevention/methods , Chemoprevention/standards , Clinical Decision-Making/methods , Humans , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Uncertainty , World Health Organization
BMJ ; 370: m3379, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-744846


UPDATES: This is the tenth version (ninth update) of the living guideline, replacing earlier versions, available as data supplements. New recommendations will be published as updates to this guideline. CLINICAL QUESTION: What is the role of drugs in the treatment of patients with covid-19? CONTEXT: The evidence base for therapeutics for covid-19 is evolving with numerous recently completed randomised controlled trials (RCTs). In this update the Guideline Development Group (GDG) developed new recommendations for patients with non-severe covid-19, concerning the use of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (2 RCTs, 3100 participants) and remdesivir (5 RCTs, 2710 participants). We have also revised the structure of the guideline to accommodate for an increasing number of effective treatment options to choose between. NEW RECOMMENDATION: • Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir: a strong recommendation for its use in patients at highest risk of hospitalisation; and a conditional recommendation against its use in patients at low risk of hospitalisation. In the absence of trial data, no recommendation on nirmatrelvir/ritonavir was made in patients with severe or critical illness. • Remdesivir: a conditional recommendation for its use in patients at highest risk of hospitalisation. UNDERSTANDING THE NEW RECOMMENDATIONS: In patients with non-severe illness at highest risk of hospitalisation, the recommendations for treatment with nirmatrelvir/ritonavir and remdesivir reflect what the GDG considered to be important reductions in admission to hospital (moderate certainty) with little or no impact on mortality, mechanical ventilation, time to symptom resolution (low to very low certainty), and adverse effects leading to drug discontinuation (high certainty for nirmatrelvir/ritonavir, moderate certainty for remdesivir), though diarrhoea and altered taste were noted more often with nirmatrelvir/ritonavir. Several treatment alternatives are now available for patients with non-severe covid-19 at highest risk of hospitalisation. In the absence of direct comparisons in trials, indirect comparisons from the living network meta-analysis have been used to inform the use of one drug over another with a related mechanism of action. Choices will depend on availability of the drugs, routes of administration (only intravenous for remdesivir), duration of treatment, and time from onset of symptoms to starting treatment in the trials. The strong recommendation for nirmatrelvir/ritonavir reflects what the GDG considered to represent a superior choice over other treatment options for those with non-severe illness at highest risk; it may prevent more hospitalisations than the alternatives, has fewer harms than molnupiravir, and is easier to administer than intravenous options such as remdesivir and the monoclonal antibodies. For monoclonal antibodies, efficacy may depend on the given SARS-CoV-2 variant, with a less certain benefit seen with the omicron BA1-2 variant which is dominating in many regions. There are no clinical data on combination treatment, and currently the GDG advises against combining antivirals in the absence of supporting evidence. UPDATES TO PRIOR RECOMMENDATIONS: The conditional (weak) recommendation for remdesivir in patients with non-severe illness at highest risk of hospitalisation replaces a previous conditional recommendation against treatment with remdesivir in all patients with covid-19 regardless of disease severity. The recommendation for patients with severe or critical illness is being updated using new evidence. PRIOR RECOMMENDATIONS: • Recommended for patients with severe or critical covid-19­a strong recommendation for systemic corticosteroids; a strong recommendation for IL-6 receptor blockers (tocilizumab or sarilumab), in combination with corticosteroids; a strong recommendation for baricitinib as an alternative to IL-6 receptor blockers, in combination with corticosteroids; and a conditional recommendation for casirivimab-imdevimab, for those with seronegative status, (where rapid viral genotyping is available to confirm infection with a susceptible SARS-CoV-2 variant). • Recommended for patients with non-severe covid-19­conditional recommendations for those at highest risk of hospitalisation for molnupiravir; sotrovimab; and for casirivimab-imdevimab (where rapid viral genotyping is available to confirm infection with a susceptible SARS-CoV-2 variant). • Not recommended for patients with non-severe covid-19­a conditional recommendation against systemic corticosteroids; and a strong recommendation against convalescent plasma. • Not recommended for patients with severe or critical covid-19­a recommendation against convalescent plasma, except in the context of a clinical trial; and a conditional recommendation against ruxolitinib and tofacitinib. • Not recommended, regardless of covid-19 disease severity­a strong recommendation against hydroxychloroquine; a strong recommendation against lopinavir/ritonavir; and a recommendation against ivermectin, except in the context of a clinical trial. ABOUT THIS GUIDELINE: This living guideline from the World Health Organization (WHO) incorporates new recommendations on two drugs for covid-19 and updates existing recommendations. The GDG typically evaluates a therapy when WHO judges sufficient evidence is available to make a recommendation. While the GDG takes an individual patient perspective in making recommendations, it also considers resource implications, acceptability, feasibility, equity, and human rights. This guideline was developed according to standards and methods for trustworthy guidelines making use of an innovative process to achieve efficiency in dynamic updating of recommendations. The methods are aligned with the WHO Handbook for Guideline Development and according to a pre-approved protocol (planning proposal) by the Guideline Review Committee (GRC). A box at the end of the article outlines key methodological aspects of the guideline process. MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation provides methodological support, including the coordination of living systematic reviews with network meta-analyses to inform the recommendations. The full version of the guideline is available online in MAGICapp and in PDF, with a summary version here in The BMJ.

Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
BMJ ; 370: m2924, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691027


CLINICAL QUESTION: What is the role of remdesivir in the treatment of severe covid-19? This guideline was triggered by the ACTT-1 trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 22 May 2020. CURRENT PRACTICE: Remdesivir has received worldwide attention as a potentially effective treatment for severe covid-19. After rapid market approval in the US, remdesivir is already being used in clinical practice. RECOMMENDATIONS: The guideline panel makes a weak recommendation for the use of remdesivir in severe covid-19 while recommending continuation of active enrolment of patients into ongoing randomised controlled trials examining remdesivir. HOW THIS GUIDELINE WAS CREATED: An international panel of patients, clinicians, and methodologists produced these recommendations in adherence with standards for trustworthy guidelines using the GRADE approach. The recommendations are based on a linked systematic review and network meta-analysis. The panel considered an individual patient perspective and allowed contextual factors (such as resources) to be taken into account for countries and healthcare systems. THE EVIDENCE: The linked systematic review (published 31 Jul 2020) identified two randomised trials with 1300 participants, showing low certainty evidence that remdesivir may be effective in reducing time to clinical improvement and may decrease mortality in patients with severe covid-19. Remdesivir probably has no important effect on need for invasive mechanical ventilation. Remdesivir may have little or no effect on hospital length of stay. UNDERSTANDING THE RECOMMENDATION: Most patients with severe covid-19 would likely choose treatment with remdesivir given the potential reduction in time to clinical improvement. However, given the low certainty evidence for critical outcomes and the fact that different perspectives, values, and preferences may alter decisions regarding remdesivir, the panel issued a weak recommendation with strong support for continued recruitment in randomised trials.

Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Guideline Adherence , Humans , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Network Meta-Analysis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome