Randomized controlled open label trial on the use of favipiravir combined with inhaled interferon beta-1b in hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia

Int J Infect Dis. 2021 Jan;102:538-543. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.11.008. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of favipiravir combined with inhaled interferon beta-1b in adult patients hospitalized with moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia.

Methods: A randomized, open-label controlled trial of oral favipiravir in adults hospitalized with moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia from June 22nd 2020 to August 13th 2020 was conducted. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either a combination of favipiravir with interferon beta-1b by inhalation aerosol or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). The outcome endpoints included improvement in inflammatory markers, lower length of hospital stay (LOS), discharges and lower overall 14-day mortality.

Results: A total of 89 patients underwent randomization with 49% (n = 44) assigned to favipiravir and 51% (n = 45) assigned HCQ. The overall mean age was 55 ± 14 years and 58% (n = 52) were males. There were no significant differences in the inflammatory biomarkers at hospital discharge between the two groups; C-reactive protein (p = 0.413), ferritin (p = 0.968), lactate dehydrogenase (p = 0.259) and interleukin 6 (p = 0.410). There were also no significant differences between the two groups with regards to the overall LOS (7 vs 7 days; p = 0.948), transfers to the ICU (18.2% vs 17.8%; p = 0.960), discharges (65.9% vs 68.9%; p = 0.764) and overall mortality (11.4% vs 13.3%; p = 0.778).

Conclusions: No differences in clinical outcomes were found between favipiravir plus inhaled interferon beta-1b and hydroxychloroquine in adults hospitalized with moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amides / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 / drug therapy*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / administration & dosage
  • Interferon beta-1b / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrazines / administration & dosage*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Amides
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Pyrazines
  • Interferon beta-1b
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • favipiravir