Coronavirus In India: Health Ministry Recommends Anti-HIV Drug Combination Lopinavir-Ritonavir On Case-To-Case Basis

The Union Health Ministry has recommended use of anti-HIV drug combinations Lopinavir and Ritonavir on a case-to-case basis depending upon the severity of the condition of a patient having coronavirus infection.

In its revised guidelines on the ‘Clinical Management of COVID – 19’ issued on Tuesday, the ministry recommended Lopinavir-Ritonavir for high-risk groups patients aged above 60, suffering from diabetes mellitus, renal failure, chronic lung disease and are immuno – compromised.

A committee of experts comprising doctors from AIIMS, experts from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and WHO among others revisited the treatment guidelines and recommended supportive treatment in patients suffering from coronavirus infection.

The ministry also recommended Lopinavir-Ritonavir for symptomatic patients having hypoxia, hypotension, new onset organ dysfunction (one or more), increase in creatinine by 50 per cent from baseline and any other organ dysfunction among others.

There is no current evidence from randomised controlled trial to recommend any specific treatment for suspected or confirmed patients with COVID-19.

No specific anti-virals are recommended for treatment of those suffering from respiratory ailment due to lack of adequate evidence from medical literature.

“The use of Lopinavir-Ritonavir in PEP regimens for HIV (4 weeks) is also associated with significant adverse events which many a times leads to discontinuation of therapy. “In light of the above, Lopinavir-Ritonavir should only be used with proper informed expressed consent on a case to case basis for severe cases, within the mentioned framework along with supportive treatment as per need,” the guidelines stated.

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