Favipiravir for treating patients with novel coronavirus (COVID-19): protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials

Link to article at PubMed

BMJ Open. 2020 Jul 31;10(7):e039730. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039730.


INTRODUCTION: An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in Wuhan, China, in mid-December 2019, and declared a pandemic by the WHO on 11 March 2020. Due to the unknown nature of the disease and the lack of specific drugs, several potential treatments were used for patients. This systematic review and meta-analysis will evaluate studies of the effects of favipiravir in COVID-19 pneumonia.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will search electronic databases including LitCovid hub, PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Sciences, Cochrane and Embase using keywords related to COVID-19 and favipiravir. We will search the reference lists of all included studies and reviews. We will also search for clinical trial registries, such as ClinicalTrials.gov, for the ongoing clinical trials. All randomised clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of favipiravir compared with other control groups for the treatment of patients with confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 will be included. Patients' survival at the end of the treatment as well as the follow-up will be the primary outcome of the treatment, followed by the time and rate of the patient with a negative COVID-19 test. The desired secondary outcome will consist of a decreased rate of symptoms, proportion of intensive care unit (ICU) transfers, length of the hospital stay, ICU treatments, the quality of life and additional adverse events. Data synthesis will be conducted using CMA V.2. Two independent investigators will be screening titles, abstracts and full texts of included studies, based on eligibility criteria. These investigators will then independently extract the data and appraise the quality of said studies. All potential discrepancies will be resolved through consultation with the third reviewer. Statistical heterogeneity will be assessed using a standard I2 test. A funnel plot, Egger's test and Begg's test will be used for detecting asymmetry to explore possible publication bias.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: All findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis will help identify the safety and efficacy of favipiravir for patients with COVID-19. Given that the design of the study is a systematic review, there is no need to follow the code of ethics protocol. The results of this study will be published in a reputable journal.


PMID:32737100 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039730

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