Treatment of coronavirus disease 2019

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2020 Nov;15(6):336-340. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000652.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-beta