Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019: Shooting in the Dark

Eur Cardiol. 2020 Aug 10;15:e59. doi: 10.15420/ecr.2020.21. eCollection 2020 Feb.

Abstract

The identification of effective interventions against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a health priority. The rational treatment of a disease is based on the knowledge of its pathophysiology, the identification of a therapeutic target and the confirmation of the efficacy and safety of the selected therapeutic intervention in randomised controlled trials. However, we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic without a clear understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease. As we are fighting against a viral infection, drugs previously developed or approved to treat other viral infections or that exhibit a broad-spectrum antiviral activity, anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs against cytokine storm are currently being tested. Unfortunately, the efficacy and safety of these medications remain uncertain, and some may increase the risk of cardiovascular complications in patients with COVID-19. Thus, at the present time, due to the lack of solid scientific data to support a therapeutic strategy, we truly are shooting in the dark with the treatment of COVID-19. We must wait for the results of ongoing randomised, controlled studies before the widespread adoption of these drugs. In the meantime, investigational anti-COVID-19 drugs should be used in hospitals or as part of clinical trials.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; pandemic; pharmacology.

Publication types

  • Review