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      Drug–Drug Interactions and Prescription Appropriateness in Patients with COVID-19: A Retrospective Analysis from a Reference Hospital in Northern Italy

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          Patients hospitalised with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19)] infection are frequently older with co-morbidities and receiving polypharmacy, all of which are known risk factors for drug–drug interactions (DDIs). The pharmacological burden may be further aggravated by the addition of treatments for COVID-19.


          The aim of this study was to assess the risk of potential DDIs upon admission and during hospitalisation in patients with COVID-19 treated at our hospital.


          We retrospectively analysed 502 patients with COVID-19 (mean age 61 ± 16 years, range 15–99) treated at our hospital with a proven diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalised between 21 February and 30 April 2020 and treated with at least two drugs.


          Overall, 68% of our patients with COVID-19 were exposed to at least one potential DDI, and 55% were exposed to at least one potentially severe DDI. The proportion of patients experiencing potentially severe DDIs increased from 22% upon admission to 80% during hospitalisation. Furosemide, amiodarone and quetiapine were the main drivers of potentially severe DDIs upon admission, and hydroxychloroquine and particularly lopinavir/ritonavir were the main drivers during hospitalisation. The majority of potentially severe DDIs carried an increased risk of cardiotoxicity. No potentially severe DDIs were identified in relation to tocilizumab and remdesivir.


          Among hospitalised patients with COVID-19, concomitant treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine led to a dramatic increase in the number of potentially severe DDIs. Given the high risk of cardiotoxicity and the scant and conflicting data concerning their efficacy in treating SARS-CoV-2 infection, the use of lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19 with polypharmacy needs to be carefully considered.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study

          Summary Background Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 have been reported but risk factors for mortality and a detailed clinical course of illness, including viral shedding, have not been well described. Methods In this retrospective, multicentre cohort study, we included all adult inpatients (≥18 years old) with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital (Wuhan, China) who had been discharged or had died by Jan 31, 2020. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data, including serial samples for viral RNA detection, were extracted from electronic medical records and compared between survivors and non-survivors. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods to explore the risk factors associated with in-hospital death. Findings 191 patients (135 from Jinyintan Hospital and 56 from Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital) were included in this study, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died in hospital. 91 (48%) patients had a comorbidity, with hypertension being the most common (58 [30%] patients), followed by diabetes (36 [19%] patients) and coronary heart disease (15 [8%] patients). Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of in-hospital death associated with older age (odds ratio 1·10, 95% CI 1·03–1·17, per year increase; p=0·0043), higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (5·65, 2·61–12·23; p<0·0001), and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL (18·42, 2·64–128·55; p=0·0033) on admission. Median duration of viral shedding was 20·0 days (IQR 17·0–24·0) in survivors, but SARS-CoV-2 was detectable until death in non-survivors. The longest observed duration of viral shedding in survivors was 37 days. Interpretation The potential risk factors of older age, high SOFA score, and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage. Prolonged viral shedding provides the rationale for a strategy of isolation of infected patients and optimal antiviral interventions in the future. Funding Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences; National Science Grant for Distinguished Young Scholars; National Key Research and Development Program of China; The Beijing Science and Technology Project; and Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development.
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            Risk Factors Associated With Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Death in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pneumonia in Wuhan, China

            Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease that was first reported in Wuhan, China, and has subsequently spread worldwide. Risk factors for the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 pneumonia have not yet been well delineated.
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              A Trial of Lopinavir–Ritonavir in Adults Hospitalized with Severe Covid-19

              Abstract Background No therapeutics have yet been proven effective for the treatment of severe illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. Methods We conducted a randomized, controlled, open-label trial involving hospitalized adult patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, which causes the respiratory illness Covid-19, and an oxygen saturation (Sao 2) of 94% or less while they were breathing ambient air or a ratio of the partial pressure of oxygen (Pao 2) to the fraction of inspired oxygen (Fio 2) of less than 300 mm Hg. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either lopinavir–ritonavir (400 mg and 100 mg, respectively) twice a day for 14 days, in addition to standard care, or standard care alone. The primary end point was the time to clinical improvement, defined as the time from randomization to either an improvement of two points on a seven-category ordinal scale or discharge from the hospital, whichever came first. Results A total of 199 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent randomization; 99 were assigned to the lopinavir–ritonavir group, and 100 to the standard-care group. Treatment with lopinavir–ritonavir was not associated with a difference from standard care in the time to clinical improvement (hazard ratio for clinical improvement, 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.90 to 1.72). Mortality at 28 days was similar in the lopinavir–ritonavir group and the standard-care group (19.2% vs. 25.0%; difference, −5.8 percentage points; 95% CI, −17.3 to 5.7). The percentages of patients with detectable viral RNA at various time points were similar. In a modified intention-to-treat analysis, lopinavir–ritonavir led to a median time to clinical improvement that was shorter by 1 day than that observed with standard care (hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.91). Gastrointestinal adverse events were more common in the lopinavir–ritonavir group, but serious adverse events were more common in the standard-care group. Lopinavir–ritonavir treatment was stopped early in 13 patients (13.8%) because of adverse events. Conclusions In hospitalized adult patients with severe Covid-19, no benefit was observed with lopinavir–ritonavir treatment beyond standard care. Future trials in patients with severe illness may help to confirm or exclude the possibility of a treatment benefit. (Funded by Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development and others; Chinese Clinical Trial Register number, ChiCTR2000029308.)

                Author and article information

                Drugs Aging
                Drugs Aging
                Drugs & Aging
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                5 November 2020
                : 1-9
                [1 ]GRID grid.144767.7, ISNI 0000 0004 4682 2907, Gestione Ambulatoriale Politerapie (GAP) Outpatient Clinic, , ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco University Hospital, ; Milan, Italy
                [2 ]GRID grid.144767.7, ISNI 0000 0004 4682 2907, Unit of Clinical Pharmacology, , ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco University Hospital, ; Milan, Italy
                [3 ]GRID grid.4527.4, ISNI 0000000106678902, Department of Neurosciences, , Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, ; Milan, Italy
                [4 ]GRID grid.476007.2, ISNI 0000 0000 9583 0138, ANMCO Research Center, ; Florence, Italy
                [5 ]GRID grid.417010.3, ISNI 0000 0004 1785 1274, Maria Cecilia Hospital, , GVM Care & Research, ; Cotignola, Italy
                [6 ]GRID grid.144767.7, ISNI 0000 0004 4682 2907, Department of Infectious Diseases, , ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco University Hospital, ; Via GB Grassi 74, 20157 Milan, Italy
                © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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