Evidence review for treatment: IDSA guidelines for COVID-19

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

On 11 April 2020, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (ISDA) published a very clear evidence review of the main compounds being studied for the management COVID-19. [1]

This document is planned in three parts. This section deals with treatment and management. Part two on diagnostics and part three on prevention are due to be published shortly.

The guideline lists five investigational treatments of repurposed drugs for people who are hospitalised with COVID-19, all in the context of a clinical trial.

•   Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine.

•   Hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine plus azithromycin.

•   Lopinavir/ritonavir.

•   Tocilizumab

•   Convalescent plasma

Corticosteroids are not recommended in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia but are an option for COVID-19 that presents with other symptoms.

The detailed evidence review for each of these approaches is less than optimistic: none shows strong evidence for benefit and all include evidence of risk.

Additional compounds are also discussed.


  1. Bhimrai A et al. Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines on the treatment and management of patients with COVID-19. (11 April 2020).

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