Objective: The aim was to assess the clinical effectiveness of drugs used in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infection.
Method: We conducted a systematic review of randomized clinical trials assessing treatment with remdesivir, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, ritonavir, dexamethasone, and convalescent plasma, for hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The outcomes were mortality, clinical improvement, duration of ventilation, duration of oxygen support, duration of hospitalization), virological clearance, and severe adverse events.
Results: A total of 48 studies were retrieved from the databases. Ten articles were finally included in the data extraction and qualitative synthesis of results. The meta-analysis suggests a benefit of dexamethasone versus standard care in the reduction of risk of mortality at day 28; and the clinical improvement at days 14 and 28 in patients treated with remdesivir.
Conclusions: Dexamethasone would have a better result in hospitalized patients, especially in low-resources settings.
Significance of results: The analysis of the main treatments proposed for hospitalized patients is of vital importance to reduce mortality in low-income countries; since the COVID-19 pandemic had an economic impact worldwide with the loss of jobs and economic decline in countries with scarce resources.