Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2020 Oct 30;77(22):1893-1898. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxaa252.
PURPOSE: The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the search for ways in which to provide the best available care have created unprecedented times in terms of rapidly evolving reports of available treatment options. The primary objective of our analysis was to categorize online, open-source guidance to determine how US institutions approached their recommendations for management of patients with COVID-19 in the early weeks of the pandemic.
METHODS: A search for open-source, online institutional guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 was conducted using predefined criteria. The search was limited to the United States and conducted from April 12 through 14, 2020, and again on April 22, 2020. Searches were conducted at 2 points in time in order to identify changes in treatment recommendations due to evolving literature or institutional experience. Treatment recommendations, including guidance on antiviral therapy, corticosteroid and interleukin-6 inhibitor use, and nutritional supplementation were compared.
RESULTS: Of the 105 institutions that met initial screening criteria, 14 institutions (13.3%) had online COVID-19 guidance available. Supportive care and clinical trial enrollment were the primary recommendations in all evaluated guidance. Recommendations to consider antimicrobial and adjunctive therapy varied. Eighty-six percent of guidelines contained recommendations for use, or consideration of use, of hydroxychloroquine. Guidance from 2 institutions mentioned use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in combination. Of the 13 institutions listing hydroxychloroquine dosing recommendations, 62% recommended maintenance dosing of 200 mg twice daily. Infectious diseases or other specialty consultation was required by 89% of institutions using interleukin-6 inhibitors for COVID-19 management.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the analysis revealed variability in treatment or supplemental pharmacologic therapy for the management of COVID-19.