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1.
Syst Rev ; 10(1): 289, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496222

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 19 (covid-19) pandemic has underscored the need to expedite clinical research, which may lead investigators to shift away from measuring patient-important outcomes (PIO), limiting research applicability. We aim to investigate if randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of covid-19 pharmacological therapies include PIOs. METHODS: We will perform a meta-epidemiological study of RCTs that included people at risk for, or with suspected, probable, or confirmed covid-19, examining any pharmacological treatment or blood product aimed at prophylaxis or treatment. We will obtain data from all RCTs identified in a living network metanalysis (NMA). The main data sources are the living WHO covid-19 database up to 1 March 2021 and six additional Chinese databases up to 20 February 2021. Two reviewers independently will review each citation, full-text article, and abstract data. To categorize the outcomes according to their importance to patients, we will adapt a previously defined hierarchy: a) mortality, b) quality of life/ functional status/symptoms, c) morbidity, and d) surrogate outcomes. Outcomes within the category a) and b) will be considered critically important to patients, and outcomes within the category c) will be regarded as important. We will use descriptive statistics to assess the proportion of studies that report each category of outcomes. We will perform univariable and multivariable analysis to explore associations between trial characteristics and the likelihood of reporting PIOs. DISCUSSION: The findings from this meta-epidemiological study will help health care professionals and researchers understand if the current covid-19 trials are effectively assessing and reporting the outcomes that are important to patients. If a deficiency in capturing PIOs is identified, this information may help inform the development of future RCTs in covid-19. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATIONS: Open Science Framework registration: osf.io/6xgjz .


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemiologic Studies , Humans , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Systematic Reviews as Topic
2.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 139: 68-79, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466592

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the characteristics of Covid-19 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and examine the association between trial characteristics and the likelihood of finding a significant effect. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a systematic review to identify RCTs (up to October 21, 2020) evaluating drugs or blood products to treat or prevent Covid-19. We extracted trial characteristics (number of centers, funding sources, and sample size) and assessed risk of bias (RoB) using the Cochrane RoB 2.0 tool. We performed logistic regressions to evaluate the association between RoB due to randomization, single vs. multicentre, funding source, and sample size, and finding a statistically significant effect. RESULTS: We included 91 RCTs (n = 46,802); 40 (44%) were single-center, 23 (25.3%) enrolled <50 patients, 28 (30.8%) received industry funding, and 75 (82.4%) had high or probably high RoB. Thirty-eight trials (41.8%) reported a statistically significant effect. RoB due to randomization and being a single-center trial were associated with increased odds of finding a statistically significant effect. CONCLUSIONS: There is high variability in RoB among Covid-19 trials. Researchers, funders, and knowledge-users should be cognizant of the impact of RoB due to randomization and single-center trial status in designing, evaluating, and interpreting the results of RCTs. REGISTRATION: CRD42020192095.

3.
BMJ ; 374: n2231, 2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438073

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of antiviral antibody therapies and blood products for the treatment of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19). DESIGN: Living systematic review and network meta-analysis, with pairwise meta-analysis for outcomes with insufficient data. DATA SOURCES: WHO covid-19 database, a comprehensive multilingual source of global covid-19 literature, and six Chinese databases (up to 21 July 2021). STUDY SELECTION: Trials randomising people with suspected, probable, or confirmed covid-19 to antiviral antibody therapies, blood products, or standard care or placebo. Paired reviewers determined eligibility of trials independently and in duplicate. METHODS: After duplicate data abstraction, we performed random effects bayesian meta-analysis, including network meta-analysis for outcomes with sufficient data. We assessed risk of bias using a modification of the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool. The certainty of the evidence was assessed using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. We meta-analysed interventions with ≥100 patients randomised or ≥20 events per treatment arm. RESULTS: As of 21 July 2021, we identified 47 trials evaluating convalescent plasma (21 trials), intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) (5 trials), umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (5 trials), bamlanivimab (4 trials), casirivimab-imdevimab (4 trials), bamlanivimab-etesevimab (2 trials), control plasma (2 trials), peripheral blood non-haematopoietic enriched stem cells (2 trials), sotrovimab (1 trial), anti-SARS-CoV-2 IVIg (1 trial), therapeutic plasma exchange (1 trial), XAV-19 polyclonal antibody (1 trial), CT-P59 monoclonal antibody (1 trial) and INM005 polyclonal antibody (1 trial) for the treatment of covid-19. Patients with non-severe disease randomised to antiviral monoclonal antibodies had lower risk of hospitalisation than those who received placebo: casirivimab-imdevimab (odds ratio (OR) 0.29 (95% CI 0.17 to 0.47); risk difference (RD) -4.2%; moderate certainty), bamlanivimab (OR 0.24 (0.06 to 0.86); RD -4.1%; low certainty), bamlanivimab-etesevimab (OR 0.31 (0.11 to 0.81); RD -3.8%; low certainty), and sotrovimab (OR 0.17 (0.04 to 0.57); RD -4.8%; low certainty). They did not have an important impact on any other outcome. There was no notable difference between monoclonal antibodies. No other intervention had any meaningful effect on any outcome in patients with non-severe covid-19. No intervention, including antiviral antibodies, had an important impact on any outcome in patients with severe or critical covid-19, except casirivimab-imdevimab, which may reduce mortality in patients who are seronegative. CONCLUSION: In patients with non-severe covid-19, casirivimab-imdevimab probably reduces hospitalisation; bamlanivimab-etesevimab, bamlanivimab, and sotrovimab may reduce hospitalisation. Convalescent plasma, IVIg, and other antibody and cellular interventions may not confer any meaningful benefit. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: This review was not registered. The protocol established a priori is included as a data supplement. FUNDING: This study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (grant CIHR- IRSC:0579001321). READERS' NOTE: This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Interim updates and additional study data will be posted on our website (www.covid19lnma.com).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/immunology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Network Meta-Analysis , Treatment Outcome
4.
BMJ ; 373: n949, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203960

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine and compare the effects of drug prophylaxis on SARS-CoV-2 infection and covid-19. DESIGN: Living systematic review and network meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: World Health Organization covid-19 database, a comprehensive multilingual source of global covid-19 literature to 25 March 2021, and six additional Chinese databases to 20 February 2021. STUDY SELECTION: Randomised trials of people at risk of covid-19 who were assigned to receive prophylaxis or no prophylaxis (standard care or placebo). Pairs of reviewers independently screened potentially eligible articles. METHODS: Random effects bayesian network meta-analysis was performed after duplicate data abstraction. Included studies were assessed for risk of bias using a modification of the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool, and certainty of evidence was assessed using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. RESULTS: The first iteration of this living network meta-analysis includes nine randomised trials-six of hydroxychloroquine (n=6059 participants), one of ivermectin combined with iota-carrageenan (n=234), and two of ivermectin alone (n=540), all compared with standard care or placebo. Two trials (one of ramipril and one of bromhexine hydrochloride) did not meet the sample size requirements for network meta-analysis. Hydroxychloroquine has trivial to no effect on admission to hospital (risk difference 1 fewer per 1000 participants, 95% credible interval 3 fewer to 4 more; high certainty evidence) or mortality (1 fewer per 1000, 2 fewer to 3 more; high certainty). Hydroxychloroquine probably does not reduce the risk of laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (2 more per 1000, 18 fewer to 28 more; moderate certainty), probably increases adverse effects leading to drug discontinuation (19 more per 1000, 1 fewer to 70 more; moderate certainty), and may have trivial to no effect on suspected, probable, or laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (15 fewer per 1000, 64 fewer to 41 more; low certainty). Owing to serious risk of bias and very serious imprecision, and thus very low certainty of evidence, the effects of ivermectin combined with iota-carrageenan on laboratory confirmed covid-19 (52 fewer per 1000, 58 fewer to 37 fewer), ivermectin alone on laboratory confirmed infection (50 fewer per 1000, 59 fewer to 16 fewer) and suspected, probable, or laboratory confirmed infection (159 fewer per 1000, 165 fewer to 144 fewer) remain very uncertain. CONCLUSIONS: Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis has trivial to no effect on hospital admission and mortality, probably increases adverse effects, and probably does not reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of serious risk of bias and very serious imprecision, it is highly uncertain whether ivermectin combined with iota-carrageenan and ivermectin alone reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: This review was not registered. The protocol established a priori is included as a supplement. READERS' NOTE: This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Updates may occur for up to two years from the date of original publication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Carrageenan/pharmacology , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Ivermectin/pharmacology , Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chemoprevention/methods , Chemoprevention/statistics & numerical data , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Uncertainty
5.
BMJ ; 372: n526, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112324

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
6.
BMJ ; 370: m3379, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-744846

ABSTRACT

UPDATES: This is a living guideline. It replaces earlier versions (4 September 2020, 20 November 2020, 17 December 2020, 31 March 2021, 6 July 2021, and 23 September 2021). The previous versions can be found 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 increasing with numerous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) underway. This update includes recommendations on convalescent plasma, informed by pooled data from 16 RCTs with 16,236 patients. NEW RECOMMENDATION: The Guideline Development Group (GDG) made a strong recommendation against the use of convalescent plasma in patients with non-severe illness, and a recommendation against its use in patients with severe and critical illness, except in the context of an RCT. UNDERSTANDING THE NEW RECOMMENDATIONS: When moving from evidence to recommendations against the use of convalescent plasma, the GDG considered a combination of evidence assessing relative benefits and harms, values and preferences, and feasibility issues. The GDG recognised there was no clear benefit for critical outcomes such as mortality and mechanical ventilation for patients with non-severe, severe, or critical illness, and significant resource requirements in terms of cost and time for administration. Thus, the strong recommendation against use reflects the GDG's view that plasma administration, especially for patients with non-severe illness where there is a low baseline risk of mortality and other important clinical outcomes, is not justified. The GDG believed that, although convalescent plasma should not be used in any severity subgroups as part of routine care, there was sufficient uncertainty in patients with severe and critical illness to warrant continuation of RCTs. PRIOR RECOMMENDATIONS: • Recommended for patients with severe and critical covid-19­A strong recommendation for systemic corticosteroids; a strong recommendation for interleukin-6 receptor blockers (tocilizumab or sarilumab); a conditional recommendation for casirivimab and imdevimab, for those having seronegative status. • Recommended for patients with non-severe covid-19­A conditional recommendation for casirivimab and imdevimab, for those at highest risk of severe disease. • Not recommended for patients with non-severe covid-19­A conditional recommendation against systemic corticosteroids. • Not recommended, regardless of covid-19 disease severity­A conditional recommendation against remdesivir; a strong recommendation against hydroxychloroquine; a strong recommendation against lopinavir/ritonavir; 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 therapies for covid-19 and provides updates on 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. MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation provides methodological support, including the coordination of living systematic reviews with network meta-analysis to inform the recommendations. READERS' NOTE: This is the seventh version (update 6) of the living guideline (BMJ 2020;370:m3379). It was published on 7 December 2021. When citing this article, please consider adding the update number and date of access for clarity. Guidelines for the use of drugs to prevent (rather than treat) covid-19 are published separately on the WHO website and in The BMJ.


Subject(s)
Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
7.
BMJ ; 370: m2980, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691120

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19). DESIGN: Living systematic review and network meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: WHO covid-19 database, a comprehensive multilingual source of global covid-19 literature, up to 1 March 2021 and six additional Chinese databases up to 20 February 2021. Studies identified as of 12 February 2021 were included in the analysis. STUDY SELECTION: Randomised clinical trials in which people with suspected, probable, or confirmed covid-19 were randomised to drug treatment or to standard care or placebo. Pairs of reviewers independently screened potentially eligible articles. METHODS: After duplicate data abstraction, a bayesian network meta-analysis was conducted. Risk of bias of the included studies was assessed using a modification of the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool, and the certainty of the evidence using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. For each outcome, interventions were classified in groups from the most to the least beneficial or harmful following GRADE guidance. RESULTS: 196 trials enrolling 76 767 patients were included; 111 (56.6%) trials and 35 098 (45.72%) patients are new from the previous iteration; 113 (57.7%) trials evaluating treatments with at least 100 patients or 20 events met the threshold for inclusion in the analyses. Compared with standard care, corticosteroids probably reduce death (risk difference 20 fewer per 1000 patients, 95% credible interval 36 fewer to 3 fewer, moderate certainty), mechanical ventilation (25 fewer per 1000, 44 fewer to 1 fewer, moderate certainty), and increase the number of days free from mechanical ventilation (2.6 more, 0.3 more to 5.0 more, moderate certainty). Interleukin-6 inhibitors probably reduce mechanical ventilation (30 fewer per 1000, 46 fewer to 10 fewer, moderate certainty) and may reduce length of hospital stay (4.3 days fewer, 8.1 fewer to 0.5 fewer, low certainty), but whether or not they reduce mortality is uncertain (15 fewer per 1000, 30 fewer to 6 more, low certainty). Janus kinase inhibitors may reduce mortality (50 fewer per 1000, 84 fewer to no difference, low certainty), mechanical ventilation (46 fewer per 1000, 74 fewer to 5 fewer, low certainty), and duration of mechanical ventilation (3.8 days fewer, 7.5 fewer to 0.1 fewer, moderate certainty). The impact of remdesivir on mortality and most other outcomes is uncertain. The effects of ivermectin were rated as very low certainty for all critical outcomes, including mortality. In patients with non-severe disease, colchicine may reduce mortality (78 fewer per 1000, 110 fewer to 9 fewer, low certainty) and mechanical ventilation (57 fewer per 1000, 90 fewer to 3 more, low certainty). Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir, and interferon-beta do not appear to reduce risk of death or have an effect on any other patient-important outcome. The certainty in effects for all other interventions was low or very low. CONCLUSION: Corticosteroids and interleukin-6 inhibitors probably confer important benefits in patients with severe covid-19. Janus kinase inhibitors appear to have promising benefits, but certainty is low. Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir, and interferon-beta do not appear to have any important benefits. Whether or not remdesivir, ivermectin, and other drugs confer any patient-important benefit remains uncertain. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: This review was not registered. The protocol is publicly available in the supplementary material. READERS' NOTE: This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Updates may occur for up to two years from the date of original publication. This is the fourth version of the original article published on 30 July 2020 (BMJ 2020;370:m2980), and previous versions can be found as data supplements. When citing this paper please consider adding the version number and date of access for clarity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S./statistics & numerical data , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Databases, Factual/statistics & numerical data , Drug Combinations , Evidence-Based Medicine/methods , Evidence-Based Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Network Meta-Analysis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Standard of Care , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology
8.
BMJ ; 370: m2924, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691027

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
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