Treatments for COVID-19

As the coronavirus spreads rapidly around the world, numerous drug tests are being added daily in a desperate effort to slowing down the spread of the pandemic. For instance, an estimated 200 clinical trials for treatment or vaccines of cOVID-19 were initiated by April 6th. The drug tests being tested as a possible treatment include malaria drugs, repurposed flu treatments, and Ebola treatments. Other medications include antiviral EIDD-2801, Japan flu drug, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, Ebola drug, an HIV drug combination, an immunosuppressant and an arthritis drug, and a blood pressure drug.

Antiviral EIDD-2801 and Japan Flu Drug

Antiviral EIDD-2801 is an oral drug that has shown much promise after human lung and airway cells test-tube experiments. This drug has proven to be more effective in comparison to remdesivir. The drug’s mechanism of action involves the introduction of genetic mutations into the virus’ RNA. Japan flu drug, which was developed in Japan by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, has also shown a lot of promise as a treatment for moderate COVID-19 cases. This antiviral drug is known as favipiravir or Avigan. It works by preventing the replication of certain viruses as well as shortening the duration of the virus.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis treatments. Previous research has shown that these drugs could be useful in COVID-19 treatment. For instance, in a study conducted in 2005, it was proven that chloroquine could be used to suppress the spread of SARS-COV, which is closely related to coronavirus. The drug works by disrupting the virus’ ability to replicate in human cells. Currently, several countries, including the US, South Korea, China, and France, some patients have been receiving the drugs as treatment for COVID-19. Formal clinical trials of the drug are being organized by the FDA.

Failed Ebola Drug

Remdesivir drug, which failed as an effective treatment in Ebola, has proven to be effective in disrupting the growth of similar viruses as well as Middle East respiratory system and severe acute respiratory syndrome. The drug has proven to be a potentially effective treatment, and doctors are quite hopeful. As a result, the FDA has approved remdesivir use only to patients with severe COVID-19 following an increased demand for the drug. However, clinical trials and studies are still ongoing, particularly in the US and China, to evaluate the drug’s ability to shorten the duration of the virus.

An HIV Drug Combination

Kaletra, a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, is an antiviral drug that had generated premature excitement in the early stages. However, clinical data from China indicated that there were no observed benefits in patients who took the drug. Nevertheless, clinical trials are still ongoing in the hopes of some benefits from the combination of the two drugs.

Immunosuppressant and an Arthritis Drug

 In some patients, the damage associated with COVID-19 includes an override of the immune system, which can damage body tissues and ultimately lead to death. As a result, health professionals have turned to trials on Actemra or tocilizumab, which act as an immunosuppressant. This drug prevents inflammatory cascades by blocking the cell receptors that bind interleukin, which triggers dangerous inflammations. Consequently, Roche Pharmaceutical Company, launched clinical trials to determine the effect of the drug on patients with COVID-19.