NIH: There's not enough data for docs to recommend hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir yet

The NIH put out a guideline for the best way for healthcare providers to treat COVID-19 patients, including key recommendations on ventilation. Image: Getty images/sturti

The National Institutes of Health released a series of recommendations for how to treat and care for cases of COVID-19.

The guideline outlines what is known about the virus so far and gives recommendations for types of treatment and diagnosis of COVID-19 patients, including when to put a patient on a ventilator.

"Because clinical information about the optimal management of COVID-19 is evolving quickly, these guidelines will be updated frequently as published data and other authoritative information becomes available," the NIH said. 

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NIH provides recommendations on various aspects of patient care for COVID-19 patients. These include a recommendation that any intubation of patients is done by providers with "extensive airway management experience."

But the guideline stresses that there is “insufficient data” to recommend either for or against any antiviral or “immunomodulatory therapy” for patients with a severe case of the virus.

There also isn’t enough data to recommend any broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy “in the absence of another indication.”

The guideline also stresses that there just isn’t enough data to recommend the use of any of the drugs being evaluated to treat COVID-19 patients. This includes the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and the antiviral drug remdesivir.

Providers should also shy away from using interferons or Janus kinase inhibitors except in a clinical trial.

The guidelines were made based on expertise from a series of medical groups including the Society of Critical Care Medicine and American College of Emergency Physicians.