7 powerful drugs being explored to treat Covid-19 patients
Scientists around the globe are testing existing drugs to treat Covid-19 patients. Some of these drugs are already approved for treating other diseases, such as Malaria, HIV and arthritis.
Important note: This post is only compilation of data, not a scientific research. Readers are advised to follow physician’s instruction.
Novel Coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2) has disrupted the entire globe, every country is being affected with this coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Since there is no confirmed treatment, scientists are testing existing drugs to treat this disease. Following are brief about some drugs which are shortlisted to treat Covid-19 patients.
Chloroquine has been used to treat patients with malaria for nearly a century. It was discovered in 1934 by an Italian scientist. The active ingredient in the malaria drug Resochin. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.
Chloroquine is a synthetic version of quinine. Quinine is a natural compound found in the bark of cinchona trees. Chloroquine works by essentially slowing down virus entry to cells, which can slow replication rate. It is already known to be safe for humans, as well as cost effective.
Hydroxychloroquine is closely related to chloroquine. It is regarded as less toxic metabolite of the malaria drug.
Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat certain autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It has been on the market since the 1950s. It works by disrupting communications between cells in the immune system. Scientists hope it might help mitigate cytokine storms.
Kaletra is a combination of two antiviral drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, which are used to combat HIV. It is widely available and clinical trials are underway.
These two drugs complement each other. Lopinavir prevents viral enzymes from cutting up important proteins, that are key to HIV’s reproduction. Whereas, Ritonavir helps boost lopinavir’s concentrations in cells. But a recent study suggested it has no benefits for Covid-19 severe cases.
Remdesivir was developed to fight Ebola virus but failed to prove effective. In case of SARS and MERS, Remdesivir showed some positive results. Both of these diseases are caused by coronaviruses. So that, it is considered to be effective against this novel coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2).
It is unclear yet that how Remdesivir works, but a new study shows that it appears to block RNA replication during the reproductive cycle of a coronavirus.
Losartan is a hypertension drug that reduces blood pressure by preventing a hormone called angiotensin from binding to receptors on blood vessels.
Losartan works by blocking a receptor, or doorway into cells that the chemical called angiotensin II uses to enter the cells and raise blood pressure. SARS-CoV-2 binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor.
Favipiravir or Avigan is a flu drug developed in Japan. It has shown promising results in treating mild to moderate cases of Covid-19. This antiviral drug has been used in Japan to treat influenza. It was approved last month as an experimental to treat Covid-19 infections.
Actemra is an immunosuppressant that is used to quiet Cytokine storms. Actemra or Tocilizumab is approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It blocks a cell receptor that binds interleukin 6 (IL-6). Interlukin 6 is a cytokine or a type of protein released by the immune system, that can trigger dangerous inflammatory cascades.