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Geisler, Benjamin P.; Zahabi, Lara; Lang, Adam Edward; Eastwood, Naomi; Tennant, Elaine; Lukic, Ljiljana; Sharon, Elad; Chuang, Hai-Hua; Kang, Chang-Berm; Clayton-Johnson, Knakita; Aljaberi, Ahmed; Yu, Haining; Bui, Chinh; Le Mau, Tuan; Li, Wen-Cheng; Teodorescu, Debbie; Hinske, Ludwig Christian; Sun, Dennis L.; Manian, Farrin A.; Dunn, Adam G. (2021): Repurposing existing medications for coronavirus disease 2019: protocol for a rapid and living systematic review. In: Systematic Reviews, Vol. 10, No. 143
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Abstract

BACKGROUND Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has no confirmed specific treatments. However, there might be in vitro and early clinical data as well as evidence from severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome that could inform clinicians and researchers. This systematic review aims to create priorities for future research of drugs repurposed for COVID-19. METHODS This systematic review will include in vitro, animal, and clinical studies evaluating the efficacy of a list of 34 specific compounds and 4 groups of drugs identified in a previous scoping review. Studies will be identified both from traditional literature databases and pre-print servers. Outcomes assessed will include time to clinical improvement, time to viral clearance, mortality, length of hospital stay, and proportions transferred to the intensive care unit and intubated, respectively. We will use the GRADE methodology to assess the quality of the evidence. DISCUSSION The challenge posed by COVID-19 requires not just a rapid review of drugs that can be repurposed but also a sustained effort to integrate new evidence into a living systematic review. TRIAL REGISTRATION PROSPERO 2020 CRD42020175648.