Purpose of review: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious and potentially lethal pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). No specific antiviral treatment is currently available. The purpose of this review is to highlight the main repurposed drug treatments with in-vitro or in-vivo efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2.
Recent findings: Recent clinical trials suggested remdesivir, IFN-β-1b and favipiravir have potential clinical and/or virological benefits on patients with COVID-19. Short course of stress dose of corticosteroids might be used as adjunctive treatment to patients who are late presenters with cytokine storm. Convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients with high neutralizing antibody might also be beneficial in the treatment of severe disease.
Summary: Early effective antiviral therapy in COVID-19 patients will suppress the SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Adjunctive therapy with corticosteroid and convalescent plasma might further ameliorate the cytokine response. Further randomized clinical trials of combination therapy are needed.