Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the prophylactic efficacy of Polyoxidonium (INN: Azoximer bromide) in healthcare workers working with patients with COVID-19.
Materials and Methods: Two confidential surveys were conducted in this study to compare the experience of self-medicated healthcare workers who used Azoximer bromide (AZB) prophylactically to those who did not. The first part of the survey consisted of 577 medical workers in one group who were self-prescribed polyoxidonium (12 mg, tablets under the tongue) once a day for 30 days. Participants who worked at the designated hospitals were provided Polyoxidonium by NPO Petrovax as an aid to protect against COVID-19. The second group consisted of 336 medical workers from the same hospital who did not receive preventive medications. For both groups, the number of acute respiratory infection (ARI) and COVID-19 diseases was assessed over the period of taking the drug and 1 month follow-up period. The first questionnaire was a paper survey that was conducted from 1 September 2020 to 15 September 2020, which was followed three months after by an electronic survey taken from 1st November 2020 and 30 November 2020. In the second part of the survey, the number of cases of ARI and COVID-19 was assessed during the period of taking the drug and 3 months after prophylactic treatment had ended. Statistical analyses were conducted which was used to compare the responses from participants who had received prophylactic treatment with AZB to those who had not received treatment.
Results: Of the 913 survey responses, 577 participants had received AZB (AZB group, 12 mg tablets, sublingual once per day (QD) for 30 days compared with 336 participants who had not received any treatment (control group). Polymerase chain reaction tests were conducted if healthcare workers showed signs symptoms of ARI. According to the data presented in the paper survey, in the period of 1 of July till 1 of September 2020 0.7% of the participants fell ill with ARI, and 0.3% participants were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the AZB group. In the control group, 12.2% of participants were diagnosed with ARI and 5.1% of participants had COVID-19. These differences in group were statistically significant (p<0.0001). In the second survey, 247 of 350 participants used AZB as prophylactic treatment compared with 103 participants who did not receive any treatment; the AZB and control groups showed similar characteristics.
Two-hundred and thirteen (86.9%) participants responded that they believed AZB had provided some preventative benefit and 216 (88.2%) participants expressed that they would continue to use AZB as a form of preventative treatment.
Conclusion: Preventative treatment with AZB results in fewer cases of ARI and COVID-19 in healthcare professionals both during the treatment and three months after the treatment