Background: Nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (Paxlovid) reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in high-risk, ambulatory adults with COVID-19. We aimed at studying the efficacy and safety of Paxlovid in hospitalized adult patients with SARS-Cov-2 (Omicron BA.2.2 variant) infection and severe comorbidities. Methods: We conducted an open-label, multicenter, randomized controlled trial in which hospitalized adult patients with severe comorbidities were eligible and assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either 300 mg of nirmatrelvir plus 100 mg of ritonavir every 12 h for 5 days with standard treatment or only standard treatment. All-cause mortality on day 28, the duration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA clearance, and safety were evaluated. Findings: 264 patients (mean age, 70.35 years; 122 [46.21%] female) who met the criteria were enrolled at 5 sites in Shanghai from April 10 to May 19 in 2022. After randomization, a total of 132 patients were assigned to receive Paxlovid treatment plus standard treatment, and 132 patients were assigned to receive only standard treatment. The overall 28-day mortality was 4.92%, 8 patients died in the standard treatment group and 5 died in the Paxlovid plus standard treatment group. There was no significant difference in mortality from any cause at 28 days between the Paxlovid plus standard treatment group and the standard treatment group (absolute risk difference [ARD], 2.27; 95% CI −2.94 to 7.49, P = 0.39). There was no significant difference in the duration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA clearance among the two groups (mean days, 10 in Paxlovid plus standard treatment group and 10.50 in the standard treatment group; ARD, −0.62; 95% CI −2.29 to 1.05, P = 0.42). The incidence of adverse events that occurred during the treatment period was similar in the two groups (any adverse event, 10.61% with Paxlovid plus standard treatment vs. 7.58% with the standard, P = 0.39; serious adverse events, 4.55% vs. 3.788%, P = 0.76). Interpretation: Paxlovid showed no significant reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality on day 28 and the duration of SARS–CoV-2 RNA clearance in hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients with severe comorbidities.
The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific
Available online 6 February 2023, 100694