Use of Remdesivir in Patients With COVID-19 on Hemodialysis: A Study of Safety and Tolerance

Kidney Int Rep. 2021 Mar;6(3):586-593. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2020.12.003. Epub 2020 Dec 18.


Background: There are scarce data regarding the use of remdesivir in patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and end-stage renal disease as US Food and Drug Administration cautions against its use in patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate <30 ml/min/1.73m2 unless the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. We studied the compassionate use and safety profile of remdesivir in patients with end-stage renal disease and moderate to severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Methods: We conducted an observational prospective study in 48 dialysis-dependent patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who received remdesivir as part of institutional treatment protocol. During the treatment period, 100 mg of remdesivir was given 4 hours before hemodialysis sessions. Liver function tests, inflammatory markers such as serum C-reactive protein, serum ferritin and lactate dehydrogenase levels, and oxygen requirement before and after remdesivir treatment were compared.

Results: There were no events of significant liver function test alterations with the administration of 2 to 6 doses of remdesivir. A significant decline in serum C-reactive protein level (P < 0.001) was noted. More than two thirds (68.57%) of patients showed an improvement in oxygen requirement. Early administration of remdesivir within 48 hours of hospital admission shortened the duration of hospitalization by a mean of 5.5 days (P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Remdesivir was well tolerated and found safe in our study. If initiated within 48 hours of hospitalization, it reduces recovery time. Assessing the mortality benefits of remdesivir in these patients requires a randomized controlled trial with a larger population.

Keywords: COVID-19; ESRD; SARS-CoV-2; dialysis; remdesivir.