Is the anti-filarial drug diethylcarbamazine useful to treat COVID-19?

Med Hypotheses. 2020 Oct;143:109843. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.109843. Epub 2020 May 18.


SARS-CoV-2 virus has resulted in a devastating pandemic of COVID-19. Exploring compounds that could offer a breakthrough in treatment is the need of the hour. Re-positioning cheap, freely available and safe drugs is a priority. The paper proposes evidence for the potential use of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) in the treatment of COVID-19. DEC has inhibitory effects on arachidonic acid metabolism to prostaglandins, little known anti-viral effects on animal retroviruses and demonstrated anti-inflammatory actions in animal models of lung inflammation indicating the need to explore this hypothesis further. We believe this is the first time DEC is being proposed to treat COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Corona; Diethyl carbamazine DEC; SARS-CoV-2.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Diethylcarbamazine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Repositioning
  • Filaricides / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Lung / pathology
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Filaricides
  • Prostaglandins
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Diethylcarbamazine