With the COVID Omicron wave, we are assessing a lot of COVID patients, but the vast majority are not so sick – and they can usually go home. Nonetheless, the numbers are so huge that, even though they do not seem to be getting as sick as Alpha and Delta patients, that denominator is so high that the number of patients requiring hospitalization and/or ICU admission is still significant. And most would agree that the key to preventing a generalized healthcare system meltdown is to prevent hospitalizations and ICU admissions. We also, as usual, want to curb morbidity and mortality. When I tell COVID patients I am discharging from the ED to isolate, keep well hydrated, monitor their oxygen saturation and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen – almost universally they ask “is that all you’re going to offer me? Aren’t you going to give me a prescription?” In this Journal Jam podcast we dig deep into the science of FDA-approved outpatient medications for COVID, and discuss our philosophies of prescribing experimental medications without robust evidence during a time when we are desperate to save lives, reduce morbidity and decrease hospitalizations when COVID is changing so rapidly. Three critical appraisal masters chime in: Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Andrew Morris who you have almost certainly heard before on EM Cases, my EM colleague at North York General and SREMI researcher Dr. Rohit Mohindra, and my Journal Jam co-conspirator, Dr. Justin Morgenstern…

8 outpatient COVID medications in 4 categories covered in this Journal Jam podcast

The biologics – neutralizing monoclonal antibodies – the “mabs”

  • Sotrovimab 500mg IV x1
  • Evusheld (tixagevimab + cilgavimab) for pre-exposure prophylaxis ≥12 y/o

The nucleoside analogs – the “virs”

  • Remdesivir 200mg IV on day 1, then 100mg IV daily x 2 days
  • Molnupiravir
  • Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir)

The SSRIs

  • Fluvoxamine 50mg po daily titrated to 100mg po tid x 15 days

The inhaled coriticosteroids

  • Budesonide 800 μg bid x 14 days
  • Ciclesonide 600 μg bid x 14 days

Ontario COVID-19 Drugs and Biologics Clinical Practice Guidelines Working Group: Therapeutic Management of  Patients with COVID-19

Ontario COVID-19 Drugs Guidelines

Ontario COVID-19 Drugs and Biologics Clinical Practice Guidelines Working Group: Therapeutic Management of Adult Patients with COVID-19, January 2022

Additional FOAMed resources on outpatient medications for COVID-19

First10EM deep dives:

References for outpatient medications for COVID-19

Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies

Gupta A, Gonzalez-Rojas Y, Juarez E, Crespo Casal M, Moya J, Falci DR, Sarkis E, Solis J, Zheng H, Scott N, Cathcart AL, Hebner CM, Sager J, Mogalian E, Tipple C, Peppercorn A, Alexander E, Pang PS, Free A, Brinson C, Aldinger M, Shapiro AE; COMET-ICE Investigators. Early Treatment for Covid-19 with SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody Sotrovimab. N Engl J Med. 2021 Nov 18;385(21):1941-1950. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2107934. Epub 2021 Oct 27.

Horby PW, Mafham M, Peto L, et al. Casirivimab and imdevimab in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): A randomised, controlled, open-abel, platform trial.; 2021:2021.06.15.21258542.

Cohen MS, Nirula A, Mulligan MJ, Novak RM, Marovich M, Yen C, Stemer A, Mayer SM, Wohl D, Brengle B, Montague BT, Frank I, McCulloh RJ, Fichtenbaum CJ, Lipson B, Gabra N, Ramirez JA, Thai C, Chege W, Gomez Lorenzo MM, Sista N, Farrior J, Clement ME, Brown ER, Custer KL, Van Naarden J, Adams AC, Schade AE, Dabora MC, Knorr J, Price KL, Sabo J, Tuttle JL, Klekotka P, Shen L, Skovronsky DM; BLAZE-2 Investigators. Effect of Bamlanivimab vs Placebo on Incidence of COVID-19 Among Residents and Staff of Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2021 Jul 6;326(1):46-55.

O’Brien MP, Forleo-Neto E, Musser BJ, Isa F, Chan KC, Sarkar N, Bar KJ, Barnabas RV, Barouch DH, Cohen MS, Hurt CB, Burwen DR, Marovich MA, Hou P, Heirman I, Davis JD, Turner KC, Ramesh D, Mahmood A, Hooper AT, Hamilton JD, Kim Y, Purcell LA, Baum A, Kyratsous CA, Krainson J, Perez-Perez R, Mohseni R, Kowal B, DiCioccio AT, Stahl N, Lipsich L, Braunstein N, Herman G, Yancopoulos GD, Weinreich DM; Covid-19 Phase 3 Prevention Trial Team. Subcutaneous REGEN-COV Antibody Combination to Prevent Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021 Sep 23;385(13):1184-1195. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2109682. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Planas D, Veyer D, Baidaliuk A, Staropoli I, Guivel-Benhassine F, Rajah MM, Planchais C, Porrot F, Robillard N, Puech J, Prot M, Gallais F, Gantner P, Velay A, Le Guen J, Kassis-Chikhani N, Edriss D, Belec L, Seve A, Courtellemont L, Péré H, Hocqueloux L, Fafi-Kremer S, Prazuck T, Mouquet H, Bruel T, Simon-Lorière E, Rey FA, Schwartz O. Reduced sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 variant Delta to antibody neutralization. Nature. 2021 Aug;596(7871):276-280. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03777-9. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Siemieniuk RA, Bartoszko JJ, Díaz Martinez JP, Kum E, Qasim A, Zeraatkar D, Izcovich A, Mangala S, Ge L, Han MA, Agoritsas T, Arnold D, Ávila C, Chu DK, Couban R, Cusano E, Darzi AJ, Devji T, Foroutan F, Ghadimi M, Khamis A, Lamontagne F, Loeb M, Miroshnychenko A, Motaghi S, Murthy S, Mustafa RA, Rada G, Rochwerg B, Switzer C, Vandvik PO, Vernooij RW, Wang Y, Yao L, Guyatt GH, Brignardello-Petersen R. Antibody and cellular therapies for treatment of covid-19: a living systematic review and network meta-analysis. BMJ. 2021 Sep 23;374:n2231. doi: 10.1136/bmj.n2231.

Weinreich DM, Sivapalasingam S, Norton T, Ali S, Gao H, Bhore R, Xiao J, Hooper AT, Hamilton JD, Musser BJ, Rofail D, Hussein M, Im J, Atmodjo DY, Perry C, Pan C, Mahmood A, Hosain R, Davis JD, Turner KC, Baum A, Kyratsous CA, Kim Y, Cook A, Kampman W, Roque-Guerrero L, Acloque G, Aazami H, Cannon K, Simón-Campos JA, Bocchini JA, Kowal B, DiCioccio AT, Soo Y, Geba GP, Stahl N, Lipsich L, Braunstein N, Herman G, Yancopoulos GD; Trial Investigators. REGEN-COV Antibody Combination and Outcomes in Outpatients with Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021 Dec 2;385(23):e81. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2108163. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

Nucleoside analogues

Gottlieb RL, Vaca CE, Paredes R, Mera J, Webb BJ, Perez G, Oguchi G, Ryan P, Nielsen BU, Brown M, Hidalgo A, Sachdeva Y, Mittal S, Osiyemi O, Skarbinski J, Juneja K, Hyland RH, Osinusi A, Chen S, Camus G, Abdelghany M, Davies S, Behenna-Renton N, Duff F, Marty FM, Katz MJ, Ginde AA, Brown SM, Schiffer JT, Hill JA; GS-US-540-9012 (PINETREE) Investigators. Early Remdesivir to Prevent Progression to Severe Covid-19 in Outpatients. N Engl J Med. 2021 Dec 22:NEJMoa2116846. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2116846. Epub ahead of print.

Ader F, Bouscambert-Duchamp M, Hites M, Peiffer-Smadja N, Poissy J, Belhadi D, Diallo A, Lê MP, Peytavin G, Staub T, Greil R, Guedj J, Paiva JA, Costagliola D, Yazdanpanah Y, Burdet C, Mentré F; DisCoVeRy Study Group. Remdesivir plus standard of care versus standard of care alone for the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (DisCoVeRy): a phase 3, randomised, controlled, open-label trial. Lancet Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 14:S1473-3099(21)00485-0. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00485-0. Epub ahead of print.

Ali K, Azher T, Baqi M, Binnie A, Borgia S, Carrier FM, Cavayas YA, Chagnon N, Cheng MP, Conly J, Costiniuk C, Daley P, Daneman N, Douglas J, Downey C, Duan E, Duceppe E, Durand M, English S, Farjou G, Fera E, Fontela P, Fowler R, Fralick M, Geagea A, Grant J, Harrison LB, Havey T, Hoang H, Kelly LE, Keynan Y, Khwaja K, Klein G, Klein M, Kolan C, Kronfli N, Lamontagne F, Lau R, Fralick M, Lee TC, Lee N, Lim R, Longo S, Lostun A, MacIntyre E, Malhamé I, Mangof K, McGuinty M, Mergler S, Munan MP, Murthy S, O’Neil C, Ovakim D, Papenburg J, Parhar K, Parvathy SN, Patel C, Perez-Patrigeon S, Pinto R, Rajakumaran S, Rishu A, Roba-Oshin M, Rushton M, Saleem M, Salvadori M, Scherr K, Schwartz K, Semret M, Silverman M, Singh A, Sligl W, Smith S, Somayaji R, Tan DHS, Tobin S, Todd M, Tran TV, Tremblay A, Tsang J, Turgeon A, Vakil E, Weatherald J, Yansouni C, Zarychanski R; Canadian Treatments for COVID-19 (CATCO); Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada (AMMI) Clinical Research Network and the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group. Remdesivir for the treatment of patients in hospital with COVID-19 in Canada: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ. 2022 Jan 19:cmaj.211698. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.211698. Epub ahead of print.

Beigel JH, Tomashek KM, Dodd LE, et al. Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 – Final Report. N Engl J Med. 2020 Oct 8:NEJMoa2007764. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2007764. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32445440; PMCID: PMC7262788.

Kaka AS, MacDonald R, Greer N, Vela K, Duan-Porter W, Obley A, Wilt TJ. Major Update: Remdesivir for Adults With COVID-19 : A Living Systematic Review and Meta-analysis for the American College of Physicians Practice Points. Ann Intern Med. 2021 May;174(5):663-672. doi: 10.7326/M20-8148. Epub 2021 Feb 9. Update in: Ann Intern Med. 2021 Dec;174(12):W114-W115. Erratum in: Ann Intern Med. 2021 Mar 16.

Mahajan L, Singh AP, Gifty. Clinical outcomes of using remdesivir in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19: A prospective randomised study. Indian J Anaesth. 2021 Mar;65(Suppl 1):S41-S46. doi: 10.4103/ija.IJA_149_21. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Spinner CD, Gottlieb RL, Criner GJ, et al. Effect of Remdesivir vs Standard Care on Clinical Status at 11 Days in Patients With Moderate COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. Published online August 21, 2020.

Wang Y, Zhang D, Du G, et al. Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial. The Lancet. Published online 2020.

WHO Solidarity Trial Consortium, Pan H, Peto R, Henao-Restrepo AM, Preziosi MP, Sathiyamoorthy V, Abdool Karim Q, Alejandria MM, Hernández García C, Kieny MP, Malekzadeh R, Murthy S, Reddy KS, Roses Periago M, Abi Hanna P, Ader F, Al-Bader AM, Alhasawi A, Allum E, Alotaibi A, Alvarez-Moreno CA, Appadoo S, Asiri A, Aukrust P, Barratt-Due A, Bellani S, Branca M, Cappel-Porter HBC, Cerrato N, Chow TS, Como N, Eustace J, García PJ, Godbole S, Gotuzzo E, Griskevicius L, Hamra R, Hassan M, Hassany M, Hutton D, Irmansyah I, Jancoriene L, Kirwan J, Kumar S, Lennon P, Lopardo G, Lydon P, Magrini N, Maguire T, Manevska S, Manuel O, McGinty S, Medina MT, Mesa Rubio ML, Miranda-Montoya MC, Nel J, Nunes EP, Perola M, Portolés A, Rasmin MR, Raza A, Rees H, Reges PPS, Rogers CA, Salami K, Salvadori MI, Sinani N, Sterne JAC, Stevanovikj M, Tacconelli E, Tikkinen KAO, Trelle S, Zaid H, Røttingen JA, Swaminathan S. Repurposed Antiviral Drugs for Covid-19 – Interim WHO Solidarity Trial Results. N Engl J Med. 2021 Feb 11;384(6):497-511. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2023184. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Jayk Bernal A, Gomes da Silva MM, Musungaie DB, Kovalchuk E, Gonzalez A, Delos Reyes V, Martín-Quirós A, Caraco Y, Williams-Diaz A, Brown ML, Du J, Pedley A, Assaid C, Strizki J, Grobler JA, Shamsuddin HH, Tipping R, Wan H, Paschke A, Butterton JR, Johnson MG, De Anda C; MOVe-OUT Study Group. Molnupiravir for Oral Treatment of Covid-19 in Nonhospitalized Patients. N Engl J Med. 2021 Dec 16:NEJMoa2116044. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2116044. Epub ahead of print.

Paxlovid press release – https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizers-novel-covid-19-oral-antiviral-treatment-candidate

Fluvoxamine

Hashimoto Y, Suzuki T, Hashimoto K. Mechanisms of action of fluvoxamine for COVID-19: a historical review. Mol Psychiatry. 2022 Jan 7:1–10. Epub ahead of print.

Lenze EJ, Mattar C, Zorumski CF, Stevens A, Schweiger J, Nicol GE, Miller JP, Yang L, Yingling M, Avidan MS, Reiersen AM. Fluvoxamine vs Placebo and Clinical Deterioration in Outpatients With Symptomatic COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020 Dec 8;324(22):2292-2300.

Reis G, Dos Santos Moreira-Silva EA, Silva DCM, et al. Effect of early treatment with fluvoxamine on risk of emergency care and hospitalisation among patients with COVID-19: the TOGETHER randomised, platform clinical trial. Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Oct 27:S2214-109X(21)00448-4.

Inhaled corticosteroids

Ramakrishnan S, Nicolau DV Jr, Langford B, Mahdi M, Jeffers H, Mwasuku C, Krassowska K, Fox R, Binnian I, Glover V, Bright S, Butler C, Cane JL, Halner A, Matthews PC, Donnelly LE, Simpson JL, Baker JR, Fadai NT, Peterson S, Bengtsson T, Barnes PJ, Russell REK, Bafadhel M. Inhaled budesonide in the treatment of early COVID-19 (STOIC): a phase 2, open-label, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Respir Med. 2021 Jul;9(7):763-772. Epub 2021 Apr 9. Erratum in: Lancet Respir Med. 2021 Jun;9(6):e55.

Clemency BM, Varughese R, Gonzalez-Rojas Y, Morse CG, Phipatanakul W, Koster DJ, Blaiss MS. Efficacy of Inhaled Ciclesonide for Outpatient Treatment of Adolescents and Adults With Symptomatic COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Jan 1;182(1):42-49.

Ezer N, Belga S, Daneman N, Chan A, Smith BM, Daniels SA, Moran K, Besson C, Smyth LY, Bartlett SJ, Benedetti A, Martin JG, Lee TC, McDonald EG. Inhaled and intranasal ciclesonide for the treatment of covid-19 in adult outpatients: CONTAIN phase II randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2021 Nov 2;375:e068060.

Yu LM, Bafadhel M, Dorward J, Hayward G, Saville BR, Gbinigie O, Van Hecke O, Ogburn E, Evans PH, Thomas NPB, Patel MG, Richards D, Berry N, Detry MA, Saunders C, Fitzgerald M, Harris V, Shanyinde M, de Lusignan S, Andersson MI, Barnes PJ, Russell REK, Nicolau DV Jr, Ramakrishnan S, Hobbs FDR, Butler CC; PRINCIPLE Trial Collaborative Group. Inhaled budesonide for COVID-19 in people at high risk of complications in the community in the UK (PRINCIPLE): a randomised, controlled, open-label, adaptive platform trial. Lancet. 2021 Sep 4;398(10303):843-855. Epub 2021 Aug 10. Erratum in: Lancet. 2021 Aug 18.