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0 0.5 1 1.5 2+ Viral clearance 86% Improvement Relative Risk Povidone-Iodine  Mohamed et al.  EARLY TREATMENT  RCT Is early treatment with povidone-iodine beneficial for COVID-19? RCT 10 patients in Malaysia (June - June 2020) Improved viral clearance with povidone-iodine (not stat. sig., p=0.17) Mohamed et al., medRxiv, September 2020 Favors povidone-iodine Favors control

Early viral clearance among COVID-19 patients when gargling with povidone-iodine and essential oils: a pilot clinical trial

Sep 2020  
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Tiny RCT with 5 PVP-I patients, gargling 30 seconds, 3x per day, and 5 control patients (essential oils and tap water were also tested), showing improved viral clearance with PVP-I.
risk of no viral clearance, 85.7% lower, RR 0.14, p = 0.17, treatment 0 of 5 (0.0%), control 3 of 5 (60.0%), NNT 1.7, relative risk is not 0 because of continuity correction due to zero events (with reciprocal of the contrasting arm), day 12.
Effect extraction follows pre-specified rules prioritizing more serious outcomes. Submit updates
Mohamed et al., 9 Sep 2020, Randomized Controlled Trial, Malaysia, preprint, 16 authors, study period 22 June, 2020 - 29 June, 2020, trial NCT04410159 (history).
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Nurul Azmawati Mohamed, Nizam Baharom, Wan Shahida Wan Sulaiman, Zetti Zainol Rashid, Wong Kon Ken, Umi Kalsom Ali, Siti Norlia Othman, Muttaqillah Najihan Samat, Najma Kori, Petrick Periyasamy, Nor Azizan Zakaria, Agni Nhirmal Kumar Sugurmar, Nur Ezzaty Mohammad Kazmin, Cheong Xiong Khee, Siti Mariyam Saniman, Ilina Isahak
Background: Gargling had been reported to have significant roles in the prevention and treatment of respiratory tract infections. The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of regular gargling to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 in the oropharynx and nasopharynx. Methodology: This pilot, open labeled, randomized, parallel study compared the effect of 30 seconds, 3 times/day gargling using 1% povidone-iodine (PVP-I), essential oils and tap water on SARS-CoV-2 viral clearance among COVID-19 patients in a tertiary hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Progress was monitored by day 4,6 and 12 PCR (Ct value), gargling and symptoms diary as well as clinical observations. Results: Five confirmed Stage 1 COVID-19 patients were recruited for each arm. The age range was from 22 to 56 years old. The majority were males. Two respondents had co-morbidities, which were asthma and obesity. Viral clearance was achieved at day 6 in 100%, 80%, 20% and 0% for 1% PVP-I, essential oils, tap water and control group respectively. Analysis of 1% PVP-I group versus control group showed significant p-value for comparison of PCR results on Day 4, Day 6 and Day 12. Conclusions: This preliminary study showed that gargling with 1% PVP-I and essential oils show great potential to be part of the treatment and management of Stage 1 COVID-19. Larger studies are required to ascertain the benefit of gargling for different stages of COVID-19 patients. This study was registered in (NCT04410159).
Author's Contribution NAM and NK were the co-principal investigator, NB and WSWS designed the study and analysed the data, PP and NAZ supervised the study implementation, NEMK, CXK, ANKS and SMS monitored participants and collected data, UKA, SNO and WKK involved in molecular investigations, ZZR and MNAS wrote the draft, II supervised the study and proofread the manuscript.
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