The National Institutes of Health today announced the publishing of new COVID-19 treatment guidelines, and the expert panel producing the guidelines says no drug has yet been proven safe and effective against the virus.
NIH has the new guidelines posted online at covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov — and says it will update the guidelines often as new peer-reviewed scientific literature and other authoritative information emerges.
Clinical trials are ramping up for a host of potential coronavirus-fighting drugs.
Drug candidates against COVID-19 include antivirals such as chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine — or the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir. Other possibilities involve host modifiers/immune-based therapy such as convalescent plasma or hyperimmune immunoglobulin, as well as interleukin-6 inhibitors (e.g., sarilumab, siltuximab, tocilizumab) and interleukin-1 inhibitors (e.g., anakinra). For now, NIH is saying that at least for now, there is insufficient clinical data to recommend either for or against the therapies.
NIH is recommending against a number of other options:
- The combination of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin (AIII) because of the potential for toxicities.
- Lopinavir/ritonavir (AI) or other HIV protease inhibitors (AIII) because of unfavorable pharmacodynamics and negative clinical trial data.
- Interferons (AIII), because of lack of efficacy in treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and toxicity.
- Janus kinase inhibitors (e.g., baricitinib) (AIII), because of their broad immunosuppressive effect.