COVID-19 treatment: Combining anti-inflammatory and antiviral therapeutics using a network-based approach

Cleve Clin J Med. 2020 Jun 30. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.87a.ccc037. Online ahead of print.


To date, there are no effective antiviral medications for COVID-19. Drug repurposing, a strategy that uses existing drugs, offers potential prevention and treatment options for COVID-19. We discuss one treatment strategy that combines anti-inflammatory (melatonin) and antiviral (toremifene) agents for patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 from network medicine-based findings. We also describe the pathobiology and immunologic characteristics of COVID-19 and highlight the rationale of combination drug treatment to rescue the pulmonary and cardiovascular conditions resulting from COVID-19. A preliminary analysis reveals a high potential for the synergistic effects of melatonin and toremifene to reduce viral infection and replication, and the aberrant host inflammatory responses, offering strong biologic plausibility as an effective therapy for COVID-19.