Drugs Aging. 2021 Dec 2:1-8. doi: 10.1007/s40266-021-00908-9. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Although older patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at the high risk of exacerbation that requires treatment with remdesivir, the safety of this medication is unclear in clinical practice, especially among older patients. We aimed to retrospectively evaluate the safety of remdesivir in older patients with COVID-19 who required hospitalization in our institute.
METHODS: We reviewed patients with COVID-19 who were treated with remdesivir at our institute between July 2020 and May 2021. We defined older patients as those aged 80 years or older at admission; all other patients were defined as younger patients. We evaluated the safety of remdesivir by examining the incidence of discontinuation of remdesivir treatment because of adverse events and the incidence of any adverse events.
RESULTS: A total of 80 patients were included in this study. Compared with younger patients, fewer older patients were treated with remdesivir for more than 5 days: 4 (15.4%) vs 23 (42.6%). Discontinuation of remdesivir because of adverse events occurred in one older patient (3.9%) and four younger patients (7.4%) [p > 0.99]. Remdesivir-induced liver dysfunction was the most frequent adverse event, which occurred in 29 (36.3%) patients. There were no significant differences in the incidence of remdesivir-induced liver dysfunction, renal dysfunction, and fatigue.
CONCLUSIONS: The safety of remdesivir was suggested to be comparable between patients older than 80 years of age and patients younger than 80 years of age. The results of this study may encourage the administration of remdesivir to this older patient group.