There are treatments currently available to treat COVID-19, but it is difficult to understand which ones have evidence to back up the claims reported in the news and on social media. Now experts from Canada, United Kingdom, China, Spain and South Korea have looked at the research in people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who were given either: 1) a specific medicine, 2) a dummy medicine (also called a placebo), or 3) standard care. Steroids (such as dexamethasone) were the only medicine with evidence for reducing risk of death and the need to be put on a ventilator. Another drug, remdesivir, may be effective in reducing recovery time of patients with severe COVID-19, but this drug is very expensive. In total, three drugs may reduce how long a patient experiences symptoms when compared with standard care: hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and lopinavir-ritonavir. However, the evidence to prove this claim is weak for all three. Additionally, experts said that hydroxychloroquine might increase the risk of negative health events compared with the other interventions. As always, more research needs to be done.
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