RECOVERY trial shoots down possibility of Lopinavir-Ritonavi
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Yet another drug seems to have bitten the dust as a treatment option for the novel coronavirus disease.

Researchers in the RECOVERY trial at the University of Oxford have reported that HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir — India’s drugs of choice against Covid-19 for a brief period — do not show any significant benefit in reducing mortality of Covid patients.

In the lopinavir-ritonavir arm of the trial, 1,596 patients were randomly assigned to be administered the drug. The outcomes in these patients were compared with 3,376 patients randomly assigned to get only standard care.

Of these patients, 4 per cent required invasive mechanical ventilation when they entered the trial while 70 per cent required oxygen alone and 26 per cent did not require any respiratory intervention.

“There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality (22.1 per cent lopinavir-ritonavir vs. 21.3 per cent usual care) and the results were consistent in different subgroups of patients. There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on the risk of progression to mechanical ventilation or length of hospital stay,” explained the statement. The data was reviewed last Thursday by the trial steering committee after which a decision was taken to release the findings.

These preliminary results show that for patients hospitalised with Covid-19 and not on a ventilator, lopinavir-ritonavir is not an effective treatment.

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