Rapid review of suspected adverse drug events due to remdesivir in the WHO database; findings and implications

Charan, Jaykaran and Kaur, Rimple Jeet and Bhardwaj, Pankaj and Haque, Mainul and Sharma, Praveen and Misra, Sanjeev and Godman, Brian (2021) Rapid review of suspected adverse drug events due to remdesivir in the WHO database; findings and implications. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, 14 (1). pp. 95-103. ISSN 1751-2441 (https://doi.org/10.1080/17512433.2021.1856655)

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Objectives: Remdesivir has shown promise in the management of patients with COVID-19 although recent studies have shown concerns with its effectiveness in practice. Despite this there is a need to document potential adverse drug events (ADEs) to guide future decisions as limited ADE data available before the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Interrogation of WHO VigiBase® from 2015 to 2020 coupled with published studies of ADEs in COVID-19 patients. The main outcome measures are the extent of ADEs broken down by factors including age, seriousness, region and organ. Results: A total 1086 ADEs were reported from the 439 individual case reports up to July 19, 2020, in the VigiBase®, reduced to 1004 once duplicates were excluded. Almost all ADEs concerned COVID-19 patients (92.5%), with an appreciable number from the Americas (67.7%). The majority of ADEs were from males > 45 years and were serious (82.5%). An increase in hepatic enzymes (32.1%), renal injury (14.4%), rise in creatinine levels (11.2%), and respiratory failure (6.4%) were the most frequently reported ADEs. Conclusions: Deterioration of liver and kidney function are frequently observed ADEs with remdesivir; consequently, patients should be monitored for these ADEs. The findings are in line with ADEs included in regulatory authority documents.