COVID-19 Trials and Research We Are Watching
The Herbal Medicine for the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials evaluated the effectiveness and adverse events of oral herbal medicines (Chinese patent medicine: Lianhua Qingke granules, Shufeng Jiedu capsule, Jinhua Qinggan granules, Toujie Quwen granules) and herbal decoction when they were combined with Western medicines (Lopinavir/ritonavir, Arbidol Hydrochloride tablets, Chloroquine Phosphate tablets, Ambroxol Hydrochloride tablets, Moxifloxacin tablets, Interferon-alfa injections and Ribavirin injections) for the treatment of COVID-19 (seven RCTS; 855 patients from mainland China). While some significant effects of the combined therapy were found compared to Western medicine alone, poor reporting within the primary studies made it difficult to evaluate their quality and many of the outcomes had high heterogeneity (I2≥70%). More high quality RCTs are needed to further validate their effectiveness.
Vitamin D Trial
The COVIDENCE UK Study is investigating how diet and lifestyle factors might influence the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, severity of COVID-19 symptoms, speed of recovery and any long-term effects. The researchers aim to recruit at least 12,000 people and to obtain interim results by this summer.
Vitamin C Trials
A review from the Cochrane Library on Vitamin C Supplementation for Prevention and Treatment of Pneumonia of seven studies (five RCTs and two quasi-RCTs) involving a total of 2,774 participants (five studies in children and two studies in adults). The authors concluded that evidence was insufficient to determine an effect of vitamin C because of the very low quality evidence. Other good quality studies are needed to assess the role of vitamin C supplements for pneumonia prevention and treatment.
A randomized control trial published in JAMA in January 2020 showing a lack of effectiveness of intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine as compared to hydrocortisone alone in a quicker resolution of septic shock suggests that intravenous vitamin C is not likely to be effective for COVID-19 treatment.
Several clinical trials examining the effect of vitamin C supplementation (both intravenous and oral) on COVID-19 treatment and prevention from around the world have been registered with the U.S. National Library of Medicine's ClinicalTrials.gov database. Two specific trials are:
- A trial from Wuhan designed to provide more definitive answers about the effectiveness of intravenous vitamin C for the treatment of severe 2019-nCoV infected pneumonia is underway with an expected completion date of September 2020. This trial is designed to provide more definitive answers about the effectiveness of intravenous vitamin C for COVID-19.
- The LOVIT (Lessening Organ Dysfunction with VITamin C ) trial is a multi-centre trial currently being conducted in Canada and with recent approval in a number of other countries as well. It aims to find out if intravenous vitamin C in high doses can improve health outcomes, particularly mortality, in septic COVID-19 patients.
A New Site - LitCOVIDLitCOVID
is new from PUBMED. It is a site to help scientists keep track of COVID-19 evidence publications.
*Word of Caution from PEN Evidence Analysts: Please keep in mind that these papers are being rushed to publication as the information is wanted as soon as possible. Some of these papers are not peer reviewed. Peer reviewing is not a perfect process but it does allow an unbiased scrutiny of the work by someone external to the research group and is known to lead to better quality work. See additional information from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
: Scientists Cut Peer-Review Corners under Pressure of COVID-19 Pandemic