HIV drugs Lopinavir, Ritonavir show ‘no promise’ for COVID treatment, reveals UK’s recovery trial

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30

The world’s largest drug trial for potential COVID-19 therapies—the UKH’s Recovery Trail conducted by Oxford University—on Tuesday, said that the HIV drug combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir has shown “no promise” of treatment.   

These drugs were temporarily used in India for COVID-19 management after doctors at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Hospital administered the combination on two Italian patients, and claimed that the treatment was a success.  

However, the combination drug for COVID-19 treatment was dropped by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) following a study from China, which depicted an increase in mortality rate in COVID-19 patients. 

Previously, the ICMR had requested permission from the Drug Controller General of India for emergency use of the combination—which was discontinued later.  

Now, the UK Recovery Trial has repeated that there is “no beneficial effect” of  Lopinavir and Ritonavir for COVID-19 patients. 

“A total of 1,596 patients were randomised to Lopinavir-Ritonavir and compared to 3,376 patients randomised to usual care alone. Of these patients, 4 per cent required invasive mechanical ventilation when they entered the trial; 70 per cent required oxygen alone and 26 per cent required no respiratory intervention at all. There was no significant difference in endpoint 28-day mortality between the two groups. There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on the risk of progression to mechanical ventilation of length of hospital stay,” said the UK researchers.

The study also ruled out any significant mortality benefit of Lopinavir and Ritonavir for COVID-19 patients. 

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