Does famotidine reduce the risk of severe disease progression, mechanical ventilation and death in COVID-19 Patients? A systemic review and meta-analysis

Key Messages

The meta-analysis of five studies including 36,635 patients, revealed that famotidine use is associated with a statistically non-significant decreased risk of severe disease progression, mechanical ventilation and death in COVID-19.

The authors point out that their study has limitations. It is possible that the results are biased because of the small number of patients included in the study, the wide range of diversity in patients and the potential importance of other drugs the patients were taking not being considered.

The authors also acknowledge that some of the statistical data used in the meta-analysis had shortcomings, and there was not any adjustment for hidden factors in the studies that might be affecting the results.

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

Publication Date: February 24, 2021
Peer Reviewed: Yes
Publication Type: Review/Commentary/Letter
DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s10620-021-06872-z

Does Famotidine Reduce the Risk of Progression to Severe Disease, Death, and Intubation for COVID-19 Patients? A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis

Chenyu Sun, Yue Chen, Lei Hu, Yile Wu, Mingming Liang, Mubashir Ayaz Ahmed, Chandur Bhan, Zhichun Guo, Hongru Yang, Yijing Zuo, Yue Yan, Qin Zhou

Abstract

Background:
Famotidine was reported to potentially provide benefits to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. However, it remains controversial whether it is effective in treating COVID-19.

Aims:
This study aimed to explore whether famotidine use is associated with reduced risk of the severity, death, and intubation for COVID-19 patients.

Methods:
This study was registered on International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) (ID: CRD42020213536). A comprehensive search was performed to identify relevant studies up to October 2020. I-squared statistic and Q-test were utilized to assess the heterogeneity. Pooled risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated through the random effects or fixed effects model according to the heterogeneity. Subgroup analyses, sensitivity analysis, and publication bias assessment were also conducted.

Results:
Five studies including 36,635 subjects were included. We found that famotidine use was associated with a statistically non-significant reduced risk of progression to severe disease, death, and intubation for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients (pooled RR was 0.82, 95% CI = 0.52-1.30, P = 0.40).

Conclusion:
Famotidine has no significant protective effect in reducing the risk of developing serious illness, death, and intubation for COVID-19 patients. More original studies are needed to further clarify whether it is associated with reduced risk of the severity, death, and intubation for COVID-19 patients.