September 01, 2020

COVID-19 treatment update

Better care for serious cases

Researchers around the world are steadfastly exploring ways to treat COVID-19. While there is no proven virus treatment, there are a number of measures health professionals can use to help alleviate symptoms in people hospitalized with COVID-19 and provide enough physical support so that the body can fight off the infection and recover.

Potential COVID-19 treatments

Although no product has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat COVID-19, many candidates are being explored and tested. For hospitalized people, options may include:

  • Antiviral drugs — The broad-spectrum antiviral drug remdesivir has been authorized by the FDA for emergency use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remdesivir may be prescribed for people who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19. It's given through a needle in a blood vein (intravenously). In a recent study, remdesivir was shown to improve clinical recovery and reduce the risk of death by 62% as compared with standard of care. This promising finding requires confirmation in prospective clinical trials. In addition to remdesivir, other antiviral drugs being tested include favipiravir and merimepodib. Research has found that lopinavir and ritonavir used in combination are not effective.
  • Anti-inflammatory therapy — There's hope that anti-inflammatory drugs could treat or prevent organ dysfunction and lung injury from inflammation. The National Institutes of Health recommends one anti-inflammatory drug — the corticosteroid dexamethasone — for people hospitalized with COVID-19 who are on mechanical ventilators or need supplemental oxygen. However, dexamethasone...