The World Health Organisation has recommended against using antivirals including Remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus. Also the UN health agency discouraged using plasma therapy as “treatment option outside of the context of clinical trials”.
The latest clinical guidelines come at a time when few pharmaceutical companies are promoting the use of Remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment in Bangladesh, reports the Bangladesh Post.
Though Plasma therapy gained popularity in different hospitals after Dhaka Medical College Hospital started a study drawing media attention, WHO did not approve any antivirals before for the treatment of the new coronavirus.
According to the Bangladesh Post, the latest document updated on May 27 said their earlier recommendation has not changed and is “consistent with previous WHO guidance documents and other international grade-based guidelines.”
The new clinical guideline for doctors was developed by a multidisciplinary panel of health care providers with experience in the clinical management of patients with COVID-19 and other viral infections.
This guidance should serve as a foundation for optimized clinical care to ensure the best possible chance for survival because the guidance stresses the importance of “using investigational therapeutic interventions as part of randomized controlled trials (RCTs)”, says WHO.
On Remdesivir and other antivirals, WHO said existing published literature is mostly “observational” in nature, with few clinical trials; and does not provide “high-quality evidence in favor of any of these agents”.
For Remdesivir, the side effects include “elevation of hepatic enzymes, GI (gastrointestinal) complications, rash, renal impairment and hypotension.
Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the government’s disease monitoring agency IEDCR, told, they did not recommend any of those drugs to patients for treatment.
“The IEDCR made it clear before that those can be used as trials, not for confirmed treatment. And doctors who will conduct those trials will take consent from patients and then it’s up to patient whether they want to take part or not,” she said.
Commenting on plasma therapy Prof Flora also said, they don’t suggest this therapy since it is still not sure whether antibody develops or not in Covid-19 patients.
“DMCH is the approved study place so far for plasma therapy. But for other centers, we did not suggest them. So they should control their use of plasma therapy. However, the upcoming version of the national technical committee guideline will include all those issues, she said”, added she.
Note that as of Friday, Bangladesh confirmed 42,844 coronavirus cases and 582 deaths.