Lopinavir-ritonavir for COVID-19: A living systematic review
Verdugo-Paiva, Francisca et al.
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Objective: Provide a timely, rigorous, and continuously updated summary of the evidence on the role of lopinavir/ritonavir in the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Methods: We conducted searches in the special L·OVE (Living OVerview of Evidence) platform for COVID-19, a system that performs regular searches in PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL, and other 33 sources. We searched for randomized trials and non-randomized studies evaluating the effect of lopinavir/ritonavir versus placebo or no treatment in patients with COVID-19. Two reviewers independently evaluated potentially eligible studies, according to predefined selection criteria, and extracted data using a predesigned standardized form. We performed meta-analyses using random-effect models and assessed overall certainty in evidence using the GRADE approach. A living, web-based version of this review will be openly available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Our search strategy yielded 862 references. Finally, we identified 12 studies, including two randomized trials, evaluating lopinavir/ritonavir, in addition to standard care versus standard care alone in 250 adult inpatients with COVID-19. The evidence from randomized trials shows lopinavir/ritonavir may reduce mortality (relative risk: 0.77; 95% confidence interval: 0.45 to 1.3; low certainty evidence), but the anticipated magnitude of the absolute reduction in mortality, varies across different risk groups. Lopinavir/ritonavir also had a slight reduction in the risk of requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, developing respiratory failure, or acute respiratory distress syndrome. However, it did not lead to any difference in the duration of hospitalization and may lead to an increase in the number of total adverse effects. The overall certainty of the evidence was low or very low. Conclusions: For severe and critical patients with COVID-19, lopinavir/ritonavir might play a role in improving outcomes, but the available evidence is still limited. A substantial number of ongoing studies should provide valuable evidence to inform researchers and decision-makers soon.