Known drugs and small molecules in the battle for COVID-19 treatment

Genes Dis. 2020 Dec;7(4):528-534. doi: 10.1016/j.gendis.2020.06.007. Epub 2020 Jun 20.


COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th and since then more than 3 million cases and a quarter million deaths have occurred due to it. The urge to find a resultful treatment or cure is now pressing more than any other time since the outbreak of the pandemic. Researchers all over the world from different fields of expertise are trying to find the most suitable drugs, that are already known to treat other diseases, and could tackle the process of SARS-CoV2 through which it invades and replicates in human cells. Here, we discuss five of the most promising drugs that can potentially play a major role in the treatment of COVID-19. While nicotine and ivermectin may be blocking transport abilities of the virus or its components, famotidine, remdesivir and chloroquine in combination with zinc ions can deactivate important enzymes needed for the replication of the virus. While clinical trials for some of these drugs have already started, it is common knowledge that lack of organization between countries, institutes and hospitals might slow down the whole process for an official treatment based in wide, randomized, placebo controlled trials.

Keywords: COVID-19; Chloroquine; Coronavirus; Famotidine; Ivermectin; Nicotine; Remdesivir; SARS-Cov2.

Publication types

  • Review