J Med Virol. 2021 Nov 30. doi: 10.1002/jmv.27482. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The benefits of baricitinib in coronavirus disease-2019 are inadequately defined. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of baricitinib to determine its clinical efficacy and adverse events in patients with COVID-19.
METHODS: Databases were searched from their inception to 5 September 2021. The primary outcome was the coefficient of mortality. We also compared secondary indicators and adverse events between baricitinib treatment and placebo or other treatments.
FINDINGS: Twelve studies of 3564 patients were included and assessed qualitatively (modified Jadad and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale scores). Baricitinib effectively improved the mortality rate (relative risk of mortality = 0.56; 95% confidence interval: 0.46-0.69; P < 0.001; I2 = 2%), and this result was unchanged by subgroup analysis. Baricitinib improved intensive care unit admission, the requirement for invasive mechanical ventilation, and improved the oxygenation index. Data from these studies also showed that baricitinib slightly reduced the risk of adverse events. Regarding the choice of the drug dosage of Baricitinib, the high-dose group appeared to have additional benefits for clinical efficacy.
INTERPRETATION: Our study shows that baricitinib may be a promising, safe, and effective anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 drug candidate, with the advantages of low cost, easy production, and convenient storage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.