Which drugs are effective for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2020
  • Author: Medscape Drugs & Diseases; more...
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With the exception of remdesivir, no drugs or biologics have been proven to be effective for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Remdesivir gained emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA on May 1, 2020, based on preliminary data showing a faster time to recovery of hospitalized patients with severe disease. [13] Numerous other antiviral agents, immunotherapies, and vaccines continue to be investigated and developed as potential therapies. Searching for effective therapies for COVID-19 infection is a complex process. Guidelines and reviews of pharmacotherapy for COVID-19 have been published.

The UK RECOVERY trial showed that low-dose dexamethasone (6 mg PO or IV daily for 10 days) randomized to 2104 patients reduced deaths by 35% in ventilated patients (P = 0.0003) and by 20% in other patients receiving oxygen only (P = 0.0021) compared with patients who received standard of care (n = 4321). No benefit was seen in patients who did not require respiratory intervention (P = 0.14). [11]

For more information on investigational drugs and biologics being evaluated for COVID-19, see Investigational Drugs and Biologics.

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