Drugs That Showed Promise To Fight COVID

 

Even though the vaccines for COVID-19 are available, the planet still requires treatments for the virus. When hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 washed out, it highlighted the requirement for precaution and accurate research on efficacy and safety for possible medications. The COVID-19 virus typically progresses in two stages. There is the initial viral infection when the virus enters the body either through the eyes, nose, or mouth and replicates itself. However, the cough, fever, and chills are not really a result of this.

These are caused by the response of the immune system to the virus. Although the response by the immune system is a good thing, in several individuals the virus activates a cytokine storm. This is when the immune system releases cells known as cytokines which then attack the body’s organs, such as the lungs. The treatments highlighted will fight against one or the other of these stages. They will either stop the multiplication of the virus or they will soothe the dangerous immune response.

Remdesivir

Initially produced to fight against the Ebola virus, this antiviral is the only medication that is available that stops the SARS-CoV-2. This is the virus that results in the COVID-19 multiplying. It is the only drug that the United States Food and Drug Administration approved particularly to treat COVID-19. IT was approved under the special emergency use authorization. According to the experts, there is really sound evidence that it decreases the length of the illness. There is also proof that it also reduces mortality. A study done in May 2020 revealed that hospitalized individuals receiving remdesivir recovered in roughly eleven days. This was in comparison to fifteen days for individuals taking the placebo. Approximately seven percent of those individuals taking remdesivir died as compared to twelve percent not taking it. If received early enough, the treatment could also aid in taming the cytokine storm, according to experts.

Dexamethasone

This is an extremely strong steroid that assists in suppressing inflammation from the out of proportion reaction by the immune system. It has been on the market for decades and there is also a very good safety record. A non-peer-reviewed study conducted in June 2020, it saw that dexamethasone reduced deaths by thirty-three percent in individuals with COVID-19 that were on ventilators. It also reduced it by twenty percent for those that required oxygen but not a ventilator. These two groups are the most severe and the drug helped them, it did nothing for those that were not severely ill. Every hospital has access to this drug and it is very well tolerated.

Heparin

A study discovered that heparin, which is used as a blood thinner and has been accessible for decades. Binds itself to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 and inactivates the virus. It would appear as if the virus attaches to the drug rather than the healthy cells, assisting in neutralizing the infection. There are already hospitals using heparin. It makes sense as the individuals with COVID-19 experience blood clots, several of which lead to stroke. The American Society of Hematology recommends that every individual that is hospitalized due to COVID-19 should be given anti-clotting medicine, such as heparin.

Monoclonal Antibodies

Drugs such as these stand for an adaptable approach to treating numerous diseases. This includes COVID-19 as well. Researchers have been able to replicate specific immune proteins in an effort to target threats. Regardless of if it is cancer cells or a virus. The immune system is spurred on by the monoclonal antibodies to identify and attack any invaders. One other way that monoclonal antibodies are used is to suppress an immune system response that is unhealthy. Particularly in individuals with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Autoimmune indicates that the immune system in the body is attacking itself by destroying healthy tissue. Health care providers tried giving tocilizumab, which is a monoclonal antibody prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, to individuals with COVID-19. The drug was very promising as it retarded the storm of cytokines. In a tiny study, health care providers administered tocilizumab to COVID-19 patients that were severely ill and suffered from pneumonia. These individuals required oxygen and in the majority of cases, were incubated. The individuals improved, needing reduced amounts of oxygen and ventilation.

Interferon

Initial results proved that interferon had promise. This is a protein that is released by cells once they become infected by a virus. This protein communicates to the other cells that an infection is in progress, so fortify the anti-viral defenses. Interferon is currently being used to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and several other cancers, plus viruses such as hepatitis C. A study indicated that interferon, which is an inhaled drug, reduced the risk of developing severe illness in patients with COVID-19 by seventy-nine percent.