Chinese Patent Medicines in the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China

Front Pharmacol. 2020 Jul 17;11:1066. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.01066. eCollection 2020.


Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging and rapidly evolving disease, with no recommended effective anti-coronavirus drug treatment. Traditional Chinese Patent Medicines (CPMs) have, however, been widely used to treat COVID-19 in China, and a number of clinical practice results have shown them to have a significant role in its treatment. Consequently, numerous guidelines and expert consensus have recommended the use of CPMs to treat COVID-19.

Aim of the study: The objectives of this review are to provide up-to-date information on the pharmacology and clinical research on CPMs in the treatment of COVID-19, discuss the research findings, and to better guide clinical application and scientific research on CPMs in the treatment of COVID-19.

Methods: The frequencies of CPM recommendations by guidelines and expert consensus for treatment of COVID-19 in China were ranked. This report identifies the top 10 CPMs, which include Huoxiang Zhengqi capsule (HXZQC), Lianhua Qingwen capsule (LHQWC), Jinhua Qinggan granule (JHQGG), Shufeng Jiedu capsule (SFJDC), Tanreqing injection (TRQI), Xiyanping injection (XYPI), Xuebijing injection (XBJI), Shenfu injection (SFI), Shengmai injection (SMI), and Angong Niuhuang pill (AGNHP). Relevant studies from 2000 to 2020 on these top 10 CPMs, covering usage, dosage, mechanism, curative effect, and precautions, were collected from pharmacopoeia, reports, and theses via library and digital databases (including PubMed, CNKI, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Elsevier).

Results: The properties of the top 10 CPMs included antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic, anti-acute lung injury, anti-shock, immune regulation, and enhancement of pulmonary function. In addition, clinical research results and Chinese treatment data showed that the CPMs had good therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19, and adverse reactions were minimal.

Conclusions: Knowledge of the characteristics of the top 10 CPMs and precautions that should be taken may help clinicians to rationally improve therapeutic efficacy, and promote the role of Chinese Medicine in the control of the COVID-19 global epidemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Chinese Patent Medicines; Traditional Chinese Medicine; clinical application; pharmacological action.

Publication types

  • Review