A contemporary look at COVID-19 medications: available and potentially effective drugs

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Sep;24(17):9188-9195. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202009_22870.


Objective: There have been significant changes to the management of COVID-19 in recent months, including protocols and guidelines designed to prevent, diagnose, and treat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Several management options have been suggested and have since gained popularity, though we expect additional modifications to be made, as well as more new cases in the coming months, given a lack of definitive treatment and well-controlled experiments. This review highlights the available and potential treatments, along with the challenges associated with each.

Materials and methods: We conducted a comprehensive overview of all peer-reviewed studies, editorial comments, and letters to the editor based on a search in PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus. The following terms were used: "COVID-19," "SARS-CoV-2," "drug," "treatment," "medication," and "management." All searches were done between March and May 20, 2020.

Results: There are several potential medications available for COVID-19, such as Interferon α (IFN-α), Teicoplanin, Ribavirin, Galidesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Chloroquine phosphate, Arbidol, Velpatasvir, Favipiravir, Ledipasvir, Remdesivir, Sofosbuvir, Darunavir, Qingfei Paidu Decoction (QPD), and Imatinib. However, we do not have a definitive and specific treatment yet.

Conclusions: We are expecting to have more cases in the coming weeks/months. Therefore, further research is needed to characterize the disease behavior, to find the absolute drug, and to refine the treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate / analogs & derivatives
  • Alanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification
  • COVID-19
  • Chloroquine / analogs & derivatives
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate / therapeutic use
  • Lopinavir / therapeutic use
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Ritonavir / therapeutic use
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Lopinavir
  • remdesivir
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • chloroquine diphosphate
  • Chloroquine
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Ritonavir
  • Alanine