To date, no treatment has been identified as effective in combating this disease which has been identified as with high mortality, therefore there are no specific therapeutic options. So far, efforts have been focused on the treatment of patients hospitalized with dyspnea and, although several promising drugs are being evaluated, none has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing morbidity and mortality at this stage of the disease, suggesting that perhaps the best time to use medications either before the onset of severe symptoms of respiratory distress.
Thus, we propose the use of two drugs that experimentally have shown activity against SARS-CoV2 and being used in severely ill patients with COVID-19. Our hypothesis is that perhaps using such drugs before the onset of complications will allow better outcomes on this patient population.
Results Of 685 participants, 632 (92.3%) self-identified as mixed-race, 377 (55.0%) were women, and the median (range) age was 53 (18-94) years. A total of 214 participants were randomized to hydroxychloroquine; 244, lopinavir-ritonavir; and 227, placebo. At first interim analysis, the data safety monitoring board recommended stopping enrollment of both hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir-ritonavir groups because of futility. The proportion of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 was 3.7% (8 participants) in the hydroxychloroquine group, 5.7% (14 participants) in the lopinavir-ritonavir group, and 4.8% (11 participants) in the placebo group. We found no significant differences between interventions for COVID-19–associated hospitalization (hydroxychloroquine: hazard ratio [HR], 0.76 [95% CI, 0.30-1.88]; lopinavir-ritonavir: HR, 1.16 [95% CI, 0.53-2.56] as well as for the secondary outcome of viral clearance through day 14 (hydroxychloroquine: odds ratio [OR], 0.91 [95% CI, 0.82-1.02]; lopinavir-ritonavir: OR, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.94-1.16]). At the end of the trial, there were 3 fatalities recorded, 1 in the placebo group and 2 in the lopinavir-ritonavir intervention group.