The American College of Physicians (ACP) issued four practice points on the pharmacologic and biologic treatment of COVID-19 in the outpatient setting, endorsing two drugs and advising against two others. For the updated rapid, living practice points, ACP specifically addressed the dominant SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. 

The paper is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers for ACP reviewed two randomized controlled trials and six retrospective cohort studies to assess the benefits and harms of 22 different COVID-19 treatments.

Treatments supported in the first two practice points are the consideration of molnupiravir or nirmatrelvir-ritonavir to treat symptomatic patients with confirmed mild to moderate COVID-19 in the outpatient setting who are within five days of the onset of symptoms and at high risk for progressing to severe disease.

The third and fourth practice points do not support the use of ivermectin or sotrovimab to treat patients with confirmed mild to moderate COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. In addition, there are 18 other treatments for which no eligible studies were identified for the Omicron variant. More research is needed about the effectiveness of treatments and if effectiveness varies by patient characteristics, immunity status, symptom duration, and disease severity of COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. 

Risk stratification is an important step before deciding the best approach to manage COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. The practice points note that the decision to initiate treatment for COVID-19 in the outpatient setting should be personalized and based on clinical judgment. Best practice is to use an informed decision-making approach with patients regarding potential treatment benefits and harms; patient characteristics (such as risk factors, comorbid conditions, and disease severity); patient preferences, and social determinants of health. Clinicians should review all medications and potential drug interactions before initiating outpatient treatment for COVID-19.

ACP’s Population Health and Medical Science Committee will maintain these practice points, as living by monitoring and assessing the impact of new evidence and updating as needed.

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