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EClinicalMedicine ; 37: 100962, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275283

ABSTRACT

Background: Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as telmisartan, have been postulated to treat Covid-19-induced lung inflammation. Methods: This is a parallel-group, randomized, two-arm, open-label, adaptive, multicenter superiority trial with 1:1 allocation ratio. Participants included patients from 18 years of age hospitalized with Covid-19 with 4 or fewer days since symptom onset enrolled at a university and a community hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Exclusion criteria included prior intensive care unit (ICU) admission and use of ARBs/angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors at randomization. Control arm received standard care alone and treatment arm telmisartan 80 mg twice daily for 14 days. Primary outcomes were C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma levels at day 5 and 8 after randomization. Secondary outcomes included time to discharge within 15 days, admission to ICU and death at 15- and 30-days. NCT04355936 (Completed). Findings: A pragmatic decision to end the study before the third interim analysis was made on Oct. 30th due to sharp reduction in recruitment. A total of 162 patients were randomized. 158 patients enrolled between May 14 and October 30 2020, were included in the analysis, 80 in the standard care and 78 in the telmisartan added to standard care group. Baseline absolute CRP serum levels were 5.53 ± 6.19 mg/dL (95% CI 6.91 to 4.15, n = 80) and 9.04 ± 7.69 (95% CI 9.04 to 10.82, n = 74) in the standard care and telmisartan added to standard care groups, respectively. Day 5 control-group CRP levels were 6.06 ± 6.95 mg/dL (95% CI 7.79-4.35, n = 66) while telmisartan group were 3.83 ± 5.08 mg/dL (95% CI 5.08-2.59, n = 66, p = 0.038). Day 8 CRP levels were 6.30 ± 8.19 mg/dL (95% CI 8.79-3.81, n = 44) and 2.37 ± 3.47 mg/dL (95% CI 3.44-1.30, n = 43, p = 0.0098) in the control and telmisartan groups, respectively (all values expressed as mean ± SD). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that telmisartan-treated patients had a lower median time-to-discharge (control=15 days; telmisartan=9 days). Death by day 30 was reduced in the telmisartan-treated group (control 22.54%, 16/71; telmisartan 4.29%, 3/70 participants; p = 0.0023). Composite ICU, mechanical ventilation or death was reduced by telmisartan treatment at days 15 and 30. No adverse events were reported. Interpretation: Our study suggests that the ARB telmisartan, a widely used antihypertensive drug, is safe and could reduce morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients infected with SARS -CoV-2 by anti-inflammatory effects. Further studies employing telmisartan are needed for confirmation of our results and to define its true therapeutic value as a tool against Covid-19.

2.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 603736, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186854

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic demands a swift response to find therapeutic tools that effectively reduce morbidity and mortality. Despite initial fears, evidence from retrospective observational studies supports the inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system as an emerging pathway to delay or moderate angiotensin II-driven lung inflammation. This has triggered several prospective clinical trials. In this commentary we provide an overview and analysis of current ongoing clinical trials aimed at evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) use in COVID-19. The relevance of the results of these trials will have to be interpreted depending on the stage and severity of the disease and in light of the start time of their prescription related to the time of diagnosis of COVID-19 as well as the administered doses.

3.
Drug Dev Res ; 81(7): 768-770, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-155438

ABSTRACT

In late 2019, a new coronavirus emerged in Wuhan Province, China, causing lung complications similar to those produced by the SARS coronavirus in the 2002-2003 epidemic. This new disease was named COVID-19 and the causative virus SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the airway and binds, by means of the S protein on its surface to the membrane protein ACE2 in type 2 alveolar cells. The S protein-ACE2 complex is internalized by endocytosis leading to a partial decrease or total loss of the enzymatic function ACE2 in the alveolar cells and in turn increasing the tissue concentration of pro-inflammatory angiotensin II by decreasing its degradation and reducing the concentration of its physiological antagonist angiotensin 1-7. High levels of angiotensin II on the lung interstitium can promote apoptosis initiating an inflammatory process with release of proinflammatory cytokines, establishing a self-powered cascade, leading eventually to ARDS. Recently, Gurwitz proposed the tentative use of agents such as losartan and telmisartan as alternative options for treating COVID-19 patients prior to development of ARDS. In this commentary article, the authors make the case for the election of telmisartan as such alternative on the basis of its pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and present an open-label randomized phase II clinical trial for the evaluation of telmisartan in COVID-19 patients (NCT04355936).


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Telmisartan/therapeutic use , Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Telmisartan/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects
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