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Comparative Effectiveness of Famotidine in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

By Azza Shoaibi, Stephen Fortin, Rachel Weinstein, Jesse Berlin, Patrick Ryan

Posted 24 Sep 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.23.20199463

Background: Famotidine has been posited as a potential treatment for COVID-19. We compared the incidence of COVID-19 outcomes (i.e., death; and death or intensive services use) among hospitalized famotidine users vs. proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) users, hydroxychloroquine users or famotidine non-users separately. Methods: We constructed a retrospective cohort study using data from COVID-19 Premier Hospital electronic health records. Study population were COVID-19 hospitalized patients aged 18 years or older. Famotidine, PPI and hydroxychloroquine exposure groups were defined as patients dispensed any medication containing one of the three drugs on the day of admission. The famotidine non-user group was derived from the same source population with no history of exposure to any drug with famotidine as an active ingredient prior to or on the day of admission. Time-at-risk was defined based on the intention-to-treat principle starting 1 day after admission to 30 days after admission. For each study comparison group, we fit a propensity score (PS) model through large-scale regularized logistic regression. The outcome was modeled using a survival model. Results: We identified 2193 users of PPI, 5950 users of the hydroxychloroquine, 1816 users of famotidine and 26,820 non-famotidine users. After PS stratification, the hazard ratios for death were as follows: famotidine vs no famotidine HR 1.03 (0.89-1.18); vs PPIs: HR 1.14 (0.94-1.39); vs hydroxychloroquine:1.03 (0.85-1.24). Similar results were observed for the risk of death or intensive services use. Conclusion: We found no evidence of a reduced risk of COVID-19 outcomes among hospitalized COVID-19 patients who used famotidine compared to those who did not or compared to PPI or hydroxychloroquine users.

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