Meta-analysis Systematic Review (Red)
The objective of this living systematic review and network meta-analysis was to compare the effects of treatments for COVID-19. 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. The authors concluded that 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.
Siemieniuk R A, Bartoszko J J, Ge L, Zeraatkar D, Izcovich A, Kum E et al. Drug treatments for COVID-19: living systematic review and network meta-analysis BMJ 2020; 370 :m2980