The anti-HIV drug Kaletra could possibly prove to be effective in treating COVID-19 (Picture Courtesy: Reuters)
The anti-HIV drug Kaletra could possibly prove to be effective in treating COVID-19 (Picture Courtesy: Reuters)

Four pre-existing drugs under trial to treat COVID-19

ANI | Updated: Mar 20, 2020 21:20 IST


Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 20 (ANI): As experts from across the world scramble to find a cure for the deadly COVID-19, a few pre-existing drugs have shown positive signs in treating the fast-spreading disease.
The New York Post listed four possible panaceas that are currently being evaluated for their efficacy in fighting the novel coronavirus.
1) Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine: The two medicinal compounds are commonly used to treat malaria, which is a parasitic infection, unlike COVID-19.
However, in some studies, these drugs have been found to be effective in the treatment and prevention of SARS, which is a close cousin of the COVID-19 virus.
Dr Len Horovitz from the Lenox Hill Hospital told the New York Post that the two drugs were tested on primate cells back in 2005 during the SARS outbreak, but were never used to treat humans as the disease was contained shortly after.
"There was no reason to use it at that time but looking back, there was a feeling it could be used to reduce the possibility of being infected or as treatment," Horovitz added.
A recent study from France on Hydroxychloroquine reported that drug cured three-fourth of the 24 patients who were administered with it for six days. The findings though, cannot be confirmed as the study was neither peer-reviewed nor it got published.
Horovitz noted that these drugs haven't been officially approved for treating or preventing COVID-19.
2) Remdesivir: The experimental antiviral from Gilead Sciences which was initially tested on Ebola patients, has shown its effectiveness in treating SARS and MERS, which are two other types of coronaviruses.

The compound fights the virus by inhibiting its ability to multiply inside a cell.
The drug is undergoing trials in China and other countries, including the USA.
3) Favipiravir (Avigan): The anti-flu drug developed by a subsidiary of the Japanese camera maker Fujifilm has shown encouraging results during its clinical trials conducted in China.
Patients in China's Shenzen, who were administered this compound, came out negative after a median four days after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. While on the other hand, the patients who weren't given the medicine took a median of 11 days to recover.
The results were substantiated through chest scans which showed less lung damage in the people who took Favipiravir.
4) Kaletra: The anti-HIV drug Kaletra could possibly prove to be effective in treating COVID-19, as suggested by lab studies.
This medicine is a combination of two antiviral drugs, namely, lopinavir and Ritonavir.
Kaletra belongs to the drug category of protease inhibitors, which block an enzyme that enables the viruses to replicate.
In previous drug trials, the medicine showed its efficacy in curbing the maturation and replication of the SARS virus.
Also, recently, doctors from Japan and Thailand claimed to have successfully cured COVID-19 using the drug combo, but a study in China conducted on 200 patients found the drug to be ineffective. (ANI)

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