This open-label randomized controlled pilot study aimed to test the study feasibility of bromhexine hydrochloride (BRH) tablets for the treatment of mild or moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to explore its clinical efficacy and safety. Patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 were randomly divided into the BRH group or the control group at a 2:1 ratio. Routine treatment according to China's Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Plan was performed in both groups, whereas patients in the BRH group were additionally given oral BRH (32 mg t.i.d.) for 14 consecutive days. The efficacy and safety of BRH were evaluated. A total of 18 patients with moderate COVID-19 were randomized into the BRH group (n = 12) or the control group (n = 6). There were suggestions of BRH advantage over placebo in improved chest computed tomography, need for oxygen therapy, and discharge rate within 20 days. However, none of these findings were statistically significant. BRH tablets may potentially have a beneficial effect in patients with COVID-19, especially for those with lung or hepatic injury. A further definitive large-scale clinical trial is feasible and necessary.
© 2020 The Authors. Clinical and Translational Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.