OBJECTIVES: To summarize selected meta-analyses and trials related to critical care pharmacotherapy published in 2020.

DATA SOURCES: The Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology Pharmacotherapy Literature Update group screened 36 journals monthly for impactful publications.

STUDY SELECTION: The group reviewed a total of 119 articles during 2020 according to relevance for practice.

DATA EXTRACTION: Articles were selected with consensus and importance to clinical practice from those included in the monthly Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology Pharmacotherapy Literature Update. The group reviewed articles according to Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations criteria. Articles with a 1A grade were selected.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Several trials were summarized, including two meta-analyses and five original research trials. Original research trials evaluating vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and thiamine versus hydrocortisone in sepsis, the use of nonsedation strategies, dexmedetomidine in cardiac surgery, remdesivir for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke. Two meta-analyses determining the impact of norepinephrine initiation in patients with septic shock and the use of corticosteroids in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 was included.

CONCLUSIONS: This clinical review provides summary and perspectives of clinical practice impact on influential critical care pharmacotherapy publications in 2020.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Critical Care Explorations, v. 3, issue 12, e0590.

Copyright © 2021 The Authors

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)