Drugs against coronavirus

Study helps to identify drugs which are risk-free to use in the treatment of coronavirus

New research has shown that there is no proof for or against using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for coronavirus positive people.

The research also discovered various other types of medications, such as TNF blockers and also JAK inhibitors that are safe to use, the research was led by scientists at King’s College London.

Many works of literature were analyzed to find out if specific pain medicines, steroids, and other medications used in people already suffering from some diseases should be avoided if they are infected by coronavirus. The literature included 89 existing research studies on various other coronavirus strains such as MERS and SARS and very few literatures on COVID-19.

The doctors need to know which medications should be stopped if a patient, who already is suffering from some diseases and is taking medications for it. For example, those with cancer, are given immunosuppressive medications to lower the body’s body immune system or immunostimulant medicines to enhance the immune system.

“This pandemic has actually led to challenging decision-making regarding the treatment of coronavirus patients who were already critically ill. Parallelly, medical professionals across multiple specialties are making scientific decisions concerning the suitable continuation of therapies for people with chronic health problems using the immunosuppressive drug,” said, Dr. Mieke Van Hemelrijck, a cancer epidemiologist as well as an author on the paper.

The research was carried out by done by authored by researchers from King’s College London and Guy’s and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London. And the article is published in an open-access oncology journal – ecancermedicalscience.

Some speculation was raised that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen might make the situation worse for some coronavirus patients, but no evidence was found in this regard.

Other medications such as TNF blockers and JAK inhibitors used to treat arthritis or various other forms of inflammation were also discovered to be risk-free to use. An additional class of drugs referred to as anti-interleukin-6 agents are being explored for assisting to combat COVID-19, even though there is no proof for this.

The scientists found that reduced amounts of prednisolone or tacrolimus therapy might be helpful in treating coronavirus patients. “Present evidence suggests that a reduced dosage of prednisolone (a steroid used for treating allergic reactions) and tacrolimus (an immunosuppressive medication given to individuals who have had an organ transplant) may have a favorable effect on coronavirus infections. However further study is required,” said Dr. Sophie Papa, a clinical oncologist and immunologist, and co-author-author of the article.

As more people are being infected, scientists will certainly remain to explore on how it interacts with frequently used drugs and make additional recommendations and guidance.

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