A combination of two HIV drugs did not help hospitalized patients better recover from coronavirus infections, UK researchers reported Monday.
The combination of lopinavir and ritonavir is being tested by several groups, but preliminary results from a large, ongoing UK study called the Recovery trial found the antiviral drugs did not help patients hospitalized for treatment for Covid-19.
How the study worked: The Recovery trial team had randomly assigned about 1,600 patients to get the combination, and compared them to 3,400 patients who got the usual care alone.
“There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality,” the team wrote on the Recovery website. About 22% of patients who got the two drugs died, compared to 21% of those who did not.
“There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on the risk of progression to mechanical ventilation or length of hospital stay,” the team added.
“Today, the trial Steering Committee concluded that there is no beneficial effect of lopinavir-ritonavir in patients hospitalized with Covid-19 and closed randomization to that treatment arm," they said.
What the study found: The results held among different subgroups of patients.
“These data convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit of lopinavir-ritonavir in the hospitalized Covid-19 patients we studied,” the team concluded. “We were unable to study a large number of patients on invasive mechanical ventilation because of difficulty administering the drug to patients on ventilators. As such, we cannot make conclusions about the effectiveness in mechanically ventilated patients. Full results will be made available as soon as possible. “
The same study has found that hydroxychloroquine did not help coronavirus patients and found that the steroid dexamethasone did help.