By Gilmar Reis, et al. PREPRINT August 23, 2021
Background Recent evidence indicates a potential therapeutic role of fluvoxamine for COVID-19. In the TOGETHER randomized platform clinical trial for acutely symptomatic patients with COVID-19, we assessed the efficacy of fluvoxamine vs. placebo in preventing either extended emergency room observation or hospitalization due to COVID-19. Herein, we report the preliminary findings.
Methods This placebo-controlled, randomized, adaptive, platform trial conducted among symptomatic Brazilian adults confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 included eligible patients with a known risk factor for progression to severe disease. Patients were randomly assigned to either fluvoxamine (100 mg twice daily for 10 days) or placebo. The primary endpoint was a composite outcome of emergency room observation for >6 hours or hospitalization from COVID-19 up to 28 days post randomization. Secondary outcomes included viral clearance at day 7, time to hospitalization, mortality, and adverse drug reactions. We used a Bayesian analytic framework to determine effects along with probability of success of intervention compared to placebo. The trial is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT04727424) and is ongoing.
Results The study team screened 9020 potential participants for this trial. The trial was initiated on June 2, 2020, with the current protocol reporting randomization from January 15, 2021 to August 6th 2021, when the trial arms were stopped for superiority. A total of 3238 patients were allocated to fluvoxamine (n=739), placebo (n=733) and other treatments (n=1766). Herein, we report the effectiveness of fluvoxamine vs. a concurrent placebo control. The average age of participants was 50 years (range 18-102 years); 57% were female. The proportion of patients observed in an emergency room for >6 hours or admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 was lower for the fluvoxamine group compared to placebo (77/739 vs 108/733; Relative Risk [RR]: 0.71; 95% Bayesian Credible Interval [95% BCI]: 0.54 – 0.93), with a probability of superiority of 99.4% surpassing the prespecified superiority threshold of 97.6% (risk difference 4.3%). Of the composite primary outcome events, 88% were hospitalizations. We found no significant relative effects between the fluvoxamine and placebo groups on viral clearance at day 7 (Odds ratio [OR]: 0.75; 95% Confidence Intervals [95% CI]: 0.53 – 1.07), mortality (OR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.36 – 1.30), time to death (Hazard ratio [HR]: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.58 – 1.08), days hospitalized (Mean Difference (MD) 1.22 days; 95% CI: 0.98 – 1.53), number of days ventilated (MD 1.10; 95% CI: 0.70 – 1.73) or other secondary outcomes. Data capturing all 28 days of follow-up will be reported after August 26th, 2021.
Conclusions Treatment with fluvoxamine (100 mg twice daily for 10 days) among high-risk outpatients with early diagnosed COVID-19, reduced the need for extended emergency room observation or hospitalization.