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Monday, April 6, 2020
Coronavirus Ray of Light: 3 drugs show promise amidst coronavirus pandemic

Ray of Light: 3 drugs show promise amidst coronavirus pandemic

While an increasing amount of U.S. communities and regions work toward adapting to life under “shelter in place” provisions, preventing free motion from one’s home except for the issuing or receiving of essential goods and services such as food and healthcare, many hope for the emergence of an effective vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

As yet, no vaccine exists. However, a couple of treatments are showing early promise…

 

Chloroquine

More than 70 years old, chloroquine was approved for use by U.S. medical personnel in 1949 to treat malaria. Right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is being widely used in Belgium, South Korea, and China—from where the virus began circulating.

Doctors in the U.S. have also gone ahead and started prescribing it at high numbers. 

Peer-reviewed studies on the drug’s ability to treat the novel coronavirus have yet to be conducted, but for the time being anecdotal results have proven promising, and the FDA is now fast-tracking it for immediate use.

 

“Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that and it was approved very, very quickly,” said President Donald Trump. “We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.”

 

 

Favipiravir 

Early trials using this Japanese flu medication have boasted encouraging results. 

In a China-run test involving 340 patients, improved lung condition (in 91% of those treated, against 62% of those not) and shortened recovery times (a median of 4 days for those treated, against 11 days for those not) were found. The tests were carried out in Wuhan, where the virus is thought to have originated, as well as Shenzhen.

Favipiravir is notably safe. 

 

Remdesivir 

 

Drug maker Gilead has a pair of phase III studies underway to test how effective remdesivir is for COVID-19 patients (both mild and severe). In addition, despite being unapproved, the drug is now in circulation here in the U.S. as a result of federal laws allowing leeway for the use of such drugs on the grounds of compassion.

In past times, remdesivir proved encouraging when it came to countering the Ebola virus. In recent days, more than half of the 14 U.S. Diamond Cruise passengers recovered after receiving intravenous remdesivir treatments daily for 10 days. 

 

On another note, Kaletra…

 

Sold by AbbVie, the HIV drug Kaletra generated much recent press about its potential in treating COVID-19, but did not pass muster among Chinese researchers who tested it among patients with severe COVID-19 infections.

Yesterday, the New England Journal of Medicine published the research results, which showed that Kaletra generated no favorable results in terms of reducing mortality, reducing the presence of the virus itself, or reducing hospital stays. 

 

 

 

Sources: https://www.businessinsider.com/malaria-pill-chloroquine-tested-as-coronavirus-treatment-2020-3

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/gilead-remdesivir-shows-promise-treating-223010638.html

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/abbvies-hiv-drug-kaletra-treat-coronavirus-results-nejm-study-2020-3%3famp

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost.com/2020/03/18/japanese-flu-drug-clearly-effective-in-treating-coronavirus-officials-say/amp

Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer and filmmaker. He is the author of six critically acclaimed fiction books, among them the novella "It's Only Temporary" (2005), which appeared on Nightmare Magazine's list of the Top 100 Horror Books, and numerous short stories published in anthologies alongside work by H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, and many others. His nonfiction articles have been published on The Daily Dot, Ravishly, and The Good Men Project. His first feature film, "Rule of 3" (2010), won awards at the Fantasia International Film Festival and Shriekfest, and had its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest. His second feature film, "Living Things" (2014), was endorsed by PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) and distributed by Cinema Libre Studio. In 2015, he won the 19th Annual Fade In Award for Thriller Screenplays. He was a founding partner of Ghostwriters Central, a writing and editing firm which received positive notices from The Wall Street Journal, Consumers Digest, and the TV program "Intelligence For Your Life." Eric has edited works published on The Huffington Post and Forbes, as well as two Bram Stoker Award-nominated novels.
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