Medicines Use in the treatment of COVID-19

  • As evidence emerges from clinical trials, recommendations regarding the use of some disease-modifying medicines in COVID-19 can now be made, while the use of other disease-modifying medicines remains best limited to a clinical trial setting. Recommendations can also be made where the use of some medicines should not occur. The Australian Living Guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19, updated weekly, is the nationally recognised source for specific, patient-focused recommendations on management and care of people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. NSW TAG has developed the following supporting documents to assist clinicians and patients/carers if the medicines are used for hospitalised adults with COVID-19.

By downloading any document from this webpage, you agree that you have read, accepted and agreed to the Terms and Conditions (also further down below). If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, do not download.

  • Leaflets and consent forms have an allocated field in the header to insert the name of the hospital/local health district once they have been approved for use.

  • 1. Patient and Family Information Leaflets

    • Remdesivir – Patient and family information Version 1.1 (updated 22 July 2020) [Download PDF]
  • 2. Consent Forms

    • Remdesivir – Consent form Version 1.1 (updated 22 July 2020) – [Download PDF]


    Informed consent (preferably written) should be obtained for the experimental use of any medicines to treat COVID-19 and documented in the patient’s Health Record. To assist in reducing the risk of cross contamination during the process of obtaining written consent from a patient with COVID-19, Hand Hygiene should be performed before/after contact with the consent form (patient and healthcare worker) and any pens/accessories used should be cleaned.

    A local process should be implemented to manage the consent form process involving the patient and some possible options include:

    1. Obtaining a digital photo version of the signed consent form and emailing to the appropriate staff member for upload into the patients’ Health Record. (Ensure photo provides clear image of signatures).
    2. Sealing the consent form in a plastic bag and quarantining until potential contamination by SARS-CoV-2 is no longer suspected. The original can then be filed in the patient’s Health Record.
    3. Verbal consent – if this is the only practical option then this must be documented clearly and the reason why written consent is not obtained included as well as details of the Information provided to a patient. There are various options for inclusion into the electronic medical records application for e.g. free text typing by the prescriber or uploading a voice recording of the prescriber advising the patient about the medicine and its potential benefits and harms.

    Further guidance is available in the Consent to Medical and Healthcare Treatment Manual, particularly Section 4.

  • 3. Drug Guidelines

    • Remdesivir – Drug guideline – Version 1.4 (18 December 2020) [Download PDF]
    • Dexamethasone – Drug guideline – Version 1.3 (21 September 2020) [Download PDF]
  • 4. Prescribing Declaration/IPU Forms and Outcome Reporting Forms

    Prescribing Declaration/IPU and outcome reporting should occur as per local governance processes.

    A NSW TAG drug registry using online reporting processes is now available for NSW Health and affiliated hospitals. An instructions guide is available here for the online process.

    • Remdesivir – Online Prescribing Declaration/IPU Form, NSW Health affiliated hospitals to email to obtain access to the QARS based form.
      • If online reporting form not in use, a fillable PDF copy of the form & a corresponding excel template for manual raw data collation are available below


    • Remdesivir – Online Outcomes Reporting Form, NSW Health affiliated hospitals to email to obtain access to the QARS based form.
      • If online reporting form not in use, a fillable PDF copy of the form & a corresponding excel template for manual raw data collation are available below


  • Key Guidance

    • NSW Health Interim Guidance on use of antiviral and immunomodulation therapy in COVID-19 frequently updated, click here to find the latest version.
    • National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Living Guidelines (updated weekly) – link
  • Terms and Conditions of Use

    1. The documents require endorsement by the local Drug and Therapeutics Committee prior to implementation in the hospital/district/network.
    2. The downloaded document will only be used in the care of a hospitalised patient with COVID-19. Its use is not appropriate for a patient in the Hospital in the Home/ Virtual Hospital settings or a community-based patient.
    3. The document user will periodically check for updated documents.
    4. For the reasons stated above, the documents should not be placed on the intranet of a hospital/district/network. A link to this webpage may be provided on the intranet.
    5. The Work on this webpage and the documents downloaded via this webpage are copyright and remain the property of NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group Inc (TAG). No document can be modified without the permission of NSW TAG.

    Any enquiries in regards to copyright, sharing the copyright Works, or requests for further authorisations should be directed in writing to Dr Sasha Bennett at

  • Additional Information

    • Terms and Conditions [Download PDF]
    • Acknowledgements – coming soon
    • Visit our COVID-19 homepage
    • Other information
      • In line with National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Living Guidelines:
        • As of 25 May 2020, NSW TAG does NOT ENDORSE OR SUPPORT use of hydroxychloroquine outside a clinical trial. This is due to increasing evidence of harm from observational studies, and the lack of any signal of benefit when using hydroxychloroquine for severe COVID-19 patients in hospital. We have removed hydroxychloroquine documents from this webpage.
        • As of 8 October 2020, NSW TAG removed tocilizumab documents from this webpage as tocilizumab should not be used outside a clinical trial.

Page last updated 18 December 2020