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…
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.”
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.
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.