Coronavirus patients treated with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are significantly more likely to experience ventricular arrhythmias than those who were treated with other medications. The study also revealed that out of 100,000 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized, the 15,000 who received hydroxychloroquine were more likely to have worse health outcomes than those treated with other drugs.
Interferon-a2b an antiviral treatment shows promise in helping to speed up the recovery of patients with severe COVID-19 infections. IFN-a2b improves viral clearance and decreases the levels of inflammatory markers in coronavirus patients.
Researchers find no beneficial evidence to support the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, either used alone or in combination with azithromycin, for the treatment of COVID-19.
Anakinra, a clinically approved anti-inflammatory used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, improves respiratory function in patients with severe COVID-19 infection.
An aerosolized version of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busing drug commonly used for the treatment of stroke patients, could target blood clots that form as a result of severe coronavirus infection.
UCSD has launched a Phase III clinical trial to assess whether tocilizumab (Actemra), a drug commonly prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders, has therapeutic value for those at risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection. The drug is a monoclonal antibody-based therapy that blocks receptors for interleukin-6, a cytokine that triggers inflammation as an early immune response to coronavirus. Blocking IL-6 could prevent the risk of the COVID-19 associated cytokine storm many with severe infection experience.
A new mathematical model examined the immune response in patients with coronavirus. The findings suggest adaptive immune response may kick in before target immune cells are depleted, slowing the infection. The interaction of the innate and adaptive immune response may explain why some with coronavirus experience a second wave infection, appearing to get better before the symptoms return and get worse. Other studies have shown those who received immunosuppressants at the start of infection had a better clinical outcome than those who did not.
Trifluoperazine, a dopamine receptor antagonist commonly prescribed for schizophrenia, used in combination with radiation therapy delays the growth of glioblastoma brain tumors and prolongs survival for brain cancer.
Researchers warn early encouraging signals from small-scale preliminary trials for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus should be taken with caution. Current evidence suggests chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can not be used as a general treatment for all COVID-19 infections. Researchers say the medications should be restricted for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with pneumonia and high death risk, and only then as part of a clinical trial. The study also points out the negative side effects produced by the anti-malarial drugs and warns that those who need the medication to treat Lupus might not have access to treatment if widespread use for coronavirus occurs. The study reports there is no evidence to support the mass use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to prevent infection from occurring.
Males who contract COVID-19 have 2.5 times the death rate of women. Being males is a significant risk factor for worse disease severity, regardless of age. Researchers found a similar trend in data from the 2003 SARS outbreak. The study speculates the reason why males are more prone to negative outcomes of coronavirus is due to levels of ACE2, which is significantly higher in males than females.
Researchers have developed two new compounds that are able to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 main protease. The study reports one of the compounds is a strong drug candidate for further investigative trials in the treatment of coronavirus.