Oral Ribavirin for treating non-influenza respiratory viral infections

Added March 30, 2020

Citation: Gross AE, Bryson ML. Oral Ribavirin for the Treatment of Noninfluenza Respiratory Viral Infections: A Systematic Review. Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2015; 49(10): 1125-35

What is this? COVID-19 is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. Oral ribavirin has been suggested for the treatment of other non-influenza respiratory viral infections.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for research into the clinical outcomes of patients treated with oral ribavirin for symptomatic non-influenza respiratory viral infections. They restricted their search to articles published in English between 1972 and 2015 and did their search in June 2015. They identified 12 retrospective and 3 prospective studies. There were no randomized or controlled prospective studies.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Oral ribavirin may improve outcomes for some adults with non-influenza respiratory viral infections (such as those who are immune-compromised) but its use should be based on a patient-specific risk and benefit assessment.

The effects of oral ribavirin for children with non-influenza respiratory viral infections is uncertain.


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