Efficacy of the current investigational drugs for the treatment of COVID-19: a scoping review



Wadaa-Allah A, Emhamed MS, Sadeq MA, Ben Hadj Dahman N, Ullah I, Farrag NS, Negida A.


Ann Med. 2021 Dec;53(1):318-334. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2021.1875500.


To date, there is no final FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19. There are thousands of studies published on the available treatments for COVID-19 virus in the past year. Therefore, it is crucial to synthesize and summarize the evidence from published studies on the safety and efficacy of experimental treatments of COVID-19. We conducted a systematic literature search of MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, GHL, OpenGrey, ICTRP, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases through April 2020. We obtained 2699 studies from the initial literature search. Of them, we included 28 eligible studies that met our eligibility criteria. The sample size of the included studies is 2079 individuals. We extracted and pooled the available data and conducted a quality assessment for the eligible studies. From the 28 studies, only 13 studies provide strong evidence. Our results showed that Favipiravir and Hydroxycholoroquine shorten viral clearance and clinical recovery time and promote pneumonia absorption. On the other hand, Lopinavir-ritonavir either alone or combined with arbidol or interferons has no significant difference superior to the standard care. Corticosteroids, Convalescent plasma transfusion, and anticoagulant therapies provide a better prognosis. Remedsivir, Tocilizumab, Immunoglobulin, Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation showed effective treatment results, but further confirmatory studies are needed. In conclusion, Favipiravir and Remedsivir might be promising drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.‚ÄČ.

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Link/DOI: 10.1080/07853890.2021.1875500