Efficacy and safety of arbidol in the treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia: a systematic review based on current and previous antiviral therapy
Li, Yun et al.
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Objective: To systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of arbidol in the treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19). Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cohort studies, and case-control studies on the efficacy and safety of arbidol for COVID-19, influenza, andother respiratory virus infections were collected by searching related database at home and abroad and network platform for preprint of Health Science Papers (medRxiv) (up to April 25, 2020). Quality of the enrolled studies was evaluated by bias risk assessment tool of Cochrane collaboration network and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). Meta-analysis and descriptive analysis of relevant outcome indicators were performed using RevMan 5.3 software. Results: A total of 15 studies were enrolled in the study, including 7 cohort studies with high-quality and 8 RCTs, 6 of which were with low bias risk and the other 2 of which were with medium bias risk. Among these studies, 8 were on arbidol treatment for COVID-19, including 5 retrospective cohort studies, 2 prospective cohort studies, and 1 RCT, and involving 809 patients (479 patients in the arbidol group and 330 in the control group); 7 were RCTs on arbidol treatment for influenza or other respiratory virus infections, involving 1 471 patients (745 patients in the arbidol group and 726 in the control group).In these studies, patients were treated with arbidol (0.15-1.2 g daily for 5-21 d) in the arbidol group while with the other antiviral agents or without any antiviral drug in the control group. Meta analysis on the efficacy and safety of arbidol in treatment for COVID-19 showed that the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) nucleic acid negative conversion rate in the arbidol group was significantly higher than that in the control group [71.7% (109/152) vs. 58.8% (94/160), relative risk (RR)=1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01-1.67, P=0.04]; the difference of time taken for 2019-nCoV nucleic acid negative conversion between the 2 groups was not statistically significant (standardized mean difference=-0.17, 95%CI: -0.72-0.38, P=0.55); the difference of disease improvement rate shown by chest CT on day 7 after treatment between the 2 groups was not statistically significant [46.2% (30/65) vs. 50.7% (36/71), RR=0.88, 95%CI: 0.39-1.98, P=0.76]; and the difference of incidence of adverse reactions between the 2 groups was not statistically significant [16.9% (39/231) vs. 19.2% (47/245), risk difference (RD)=-0.03, 95%CI: -0.10-0.04, P=0.44]. Meta analysis on the safety of arbidol in treatment for influenza and other respiratory virus infections showed that the incidence of adverse reactions in the arbidol group was significantly lower than that in the control group [5.9% (44/745) vs. 11.3% (82/726), RR=0.52, 95%CI: 0.37-0.74, P<0.01]. Conclusion: Arbidol could effectively increase the 2019-nCoV nucleic acid negative conversion rate and it might be safe to treat COVID-19 using arbidol.