Antirheumatic drugs for COVID-19 treatment based on the phases of the disease: Current concept

J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Jun 27;27(S Pt 1):e14-e25. doi: 10.15586/jptcp.v27iSP1.689.


COVID-19 disease is the most recent pandemic, since it has affected more than four and a half million people and caused more than 300,000 deaths. It is a very complex systemic disease in terms of pathogenesis, treatment, and prognosis. Pharmacological treatment may include antiviral and antimalarial drugs, antibiotics, monoclonal antibodies, corticosteroids as well as low-molecular-weight heparins to prevent the evolution of the disease from reaching the severe inflammatory phase that can lead to respiratory complications, multiple organ failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and finally death. Therefore, pending the development of the much sought-after vaccine, there needs to be a multidisciplinary approach to tackling this disease, and it is essential to use different medical treatments at the correct pathogenic moment. The aim of this article is to evaluate the rationale and reason behind the use of antirheumatic drugs, by expert point of view, in the various phases of the disease. Another important aspect in the management of the disease is to identify patients at high risk, both to change their lifestyle and to correct the state of their health through non-pharmacological measures for improving their immuno-balance. Our literature review reveals the important role and the therapeutic potential of antirheumatic agents in preventing the progression of the disease and aiding recovery from the disease. However, there is a lack of clinical evidence to support the use of these agents, indicating that further randomized controlled studies are required.

Keywords: COVID-19; antirheumatic drugs; phases; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antimalarials
  • Antirheumatic Agents