Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Jan 16:101989. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2021.101989. Online ahead of print.
Between March and April 2020, 84 elderly patients with suspected COVID-19 living in two nursing homes of Yepes, Toledo (Spain) were treated early with antihistamines (dexchlorpheniramine, cetirizine or loratadine), adding azithromycin in the 25 symptomatic cases. The outcomes are retrospectively reported. The primary endpoint is the fatality rate of COVID-19. The secondary endpoints are the hospital and ICU admission rates. Endpoints were compared with the official Spanish rates for the elderly. The mean age of our population was 85 and 48% were over 80 years old. No hospital admissions, deaths, nor adverse drug effects were reported in our patient population. By the end of June, 100% of the residents had positive serology for COVID-19. Although clinical trials are needed to determine the efficacy of both drugs in the treatment of COVID-19, this analysis suggests that primary care diagnosis and treatment with antihistamines, plus azithromycin in selected cases, may treat COVID-19 and prevent progression to severe disease in elderly patients.