An Update on Current Therapeutic Drugs Treating COVID-19

Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2020;6(3):56-70. doi: 10.1007/s40495-020-00216-7. Epub 2020 May 11.


The current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has presented unprecedented challenges to the healthcare systems in almost every country around the world. Currently, there are no proven effective vaccines or therapeutic agents against the virus. Current clinical management includes infection prevention and control measures and supportive care including supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilatory support. Evolving research and clinical data regarding the virologic SARS-CoV-2 suggest a potential list of repurposed drugs with appropriate pharmacological effects and therapeutic efficacies in treating COVID-19 patients. In this review, we will update and summarize the most common and plausible drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. These drugs and therapeutic agents include antiviral agents (remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, lopinavir, umifenovir, favipiravir, and oseltamivir), and supporting agents (Ascorbic acid, Azithromycin, Corticosteroids, Nitric oxide, IL-6 antagonists), among others. We hope that this review will provide useful and most updated therapeutic drugs to prevent, control, and treat COVID-19 patients until the approval of vaccines and specific drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords: Anakinra; Azithromycin; COVID-19; Chloroquine; Convalescent plasma; Epoprostenol; Favipiravir; Hydroxychloroquine; Lopinavir; Methylprednisolone; Nitric oxide; Oseltamivir; Remdesivir; SAR-CoV-2; Sarilumab; Sirolimus; Tocilizumab; Traditional Chinese Medicine; Umifenovir; Vitamin C.

Publication types

  • Review