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Guideline Issued for Nonsevere, Severe COVID-19 Therapy

Corticosteroids recommended for severe COVID-19 with ARDS but not severe COVID-19 without ARDS

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In an evidence-based guideline developed by an international team of physicians, pharmacists, researchers, and patients, published online April 29 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, recommendations are presented for the treatment of COVID-19.

Zhikang Ye, Ph.D., from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues developed evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for treating patients with nonsevere and severe COVID-19.

The authors suggest use of corticosteroids for patients with severe COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); this recommendation was based on indirect evidence. For patients with severe COVID-19 without ARDS, corticosteroids are not suggested. Convalescent plasma is not suggested for patients with severe COVID-19. For patients with nonsevere COVID-19 and for those with severe COVID-19, ribavirin, umifenovir, favipiravir, lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, interferon-α, and interferon-β are not suggested. All these recommendations are weak.

“The enormity of the adverse health consequences of COVID-19 has understandably left clinicians and patients eager for interventions that can decrease progression, prevent mortality, and speed recovery,” the authors write. “This eagerness has perhaps contributed to overly sanguine assessments from experts, regulatory authorities, and prominent politicians regarding the potential benefits of treatments, with underappreciation of potential harms.”

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