Remdesivir could help treat COVID-19 in these people, study shows
In a new study from Johns Hopkins, researchers found remdesivir, an antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19, increased the likelihood of clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients on low-flow oxygen or no oxygen.
They analyzed data from over 43,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Patients who received remdesivir were matched to the most similar patients in a control group who did not receive remdesivir treatment.
Overall, 74% of remdesivir-receiving patients saw improvement within 28 days (with a median time of seven days) versus 68.3% of control patients (with a median time of nine days).
In particular, remdesivir patients receiving low-flow oxygen treatment or no treatment with oxygen saw strongly greater clinical improvement than their control patient counterparts.
Treatment with remdesivir also strongly reduced mortality in patients on low-flow oxygen, even when accounting for the effects of anti-inflammatory medications, such as dexamethasone.
Of these patients on low-flow oxygen, the 28-day mortality rate of remdesivir recipients was 4.1% lower than that of the control patients.
These findings support the routine use of remdesivir in patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19.
The team says that remdesivir is best used as early as possible, before the patient progresses to requiring high levels of oxygen or intubation and mechanical ventilation.
Most patients who need that kind of advanced respiratory support are likely past the point where antiviral therapies like remdesivir would be effective.
There have been several previous studies on remdesivir’s effectiveness in treating COVID-19 infection, and the results have often conflicted.
However, the authors of this study have great confidence in their conclusions due to the diversity of the patients evaluated and the fact that this is one of the largest retrospective studies of remdesivir to date.
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The study is published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. One author of the study is Brian Garibaldi, M.D.
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