Treatments for COVID-19: evidence from SARS and MERS is insufficient to support clear recommendations

Added June 11, 2020

Citation: Zhong H, Wang Y, Zhang ZL, et al. Efficacy and safety of current therapeutic options for COVID-19 – lessons to be learnt from SARS and MERS epidemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pharmacological Research 2020; 157: 104872.

What is this? The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus like those that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS). Existing research for those conditions might provide useful information on treatment options for patients with COVID-19

In this rapid review, the authors searched for randomised trials or cohort studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of anti-coronavirus agents. They did not limit by language of publication and did their search on 14 April 2020. They identified 5 randomised trials, 2 prospective cohort studies and 11 retrospective cohort studies; and judged the evidence to be very low quality. Seven studies included patients with COVID-19.

What was found: Based on the studies included in their review, the authors were unable to draw clear conclusions that would support recommendations for potential therapies for COVID-19.


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